Sunday, March 14, 2010

Impact Your Life

Tonight at our Breakthru service, I shared a message on Jesus, focusing on who He said that He was, and who we say He is. I thought I would continue that line of thought in my post tonight, only looking at it through the letter , Paul sent to the Colossians.

Jesus is all in all. Christ and Christ alone! He can not be added to or taken from. We need nothing more and nothing less, for our salvation, for our lives. Paul clearly and boldly reminds the Colossians and us of the Supremacy of Christ “He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have supremacy.” [1:15-18] With many outside influences and powers competing for our devotion, when we are tempted and wooed to consider a better option, the word and witness of the spirit reminds us that Jesus is the only answer, the only way, the only one who is completely adequate in and for all of life’s situations.

I remember before I was a Christian trying to find that thing that would complete me, entertaining every offer, exploring every option, for the one thing that would fill the void, for the best answer to all of life’s questions. Some options provided a few answers, but not all; some things filled the void in part or for a moment, but then ultimately left me empty. There was nothing the world could offer; there was no philosophy that fit, no religious order or rule that made me feel victorious, and it was not until I found the fullness of the Truth of Christ that I found completion. I am complete in Christ, which means as it did for the Colossians, there is nothing else I need – no more you can offer – for I am full! "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” [2:9-10]

It is integral that we know what we believe and in whom we believe. If individuals are not grounded in the truth of Christ, in the foundations of the faith it will be easy for them to be tempted and drift from the true Gospel. It is a slow fade, a subtle compromise that can lead to one’s downfall. Paul knew this and so did the heretics and religious rulers of the day. So Paul wrote this letter to encourage them and remind them of the Supremacy of Christ, to help firm up their spiritual foundations so that they could stand strong against those who were preying on their newly found faith. "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” [2:2-4] This letter again brings me back to those Christian students who are heading off to University, where they will be prey for the philosophers, heretics, and worldly rulers. Unless they have been brought up by strong pillars of the faith, with a firm foundation in Christ, and been allowed to ultimately prove and discover their faith, establishing with certainty what they believe and in whom, they will fall and fall hard, under the onslaught they experience outside their Christian bubble. They need the example; encouragement and teaching that will guide them to a saving faith in Christ for themselves. Then the support, prayer, mentoring and teaching that will help them to grow and stand firm in that faith. But I digress…

I love how Paul once again balances our faith in Christ with our response to Christ as outlined in Chapters 3 & 4. The Supremacy of Christ, our salvation through Christ, our relationship with Christ should have an everyday impact on how we live our lives. Jesus is not only the Saviour of our life; He is Lord of our way of life. Our relationship with Jesus creates in us a desire to follow His commands, a yearning to be transformed into His likeness and that is reflected in our relationship with others. Dare I suggest that the health of our relationship with God is reflected in our relationship with others?

When I had finished speaking tonight, a young gentlemen came up to me and as we were talking  he shared a great truth. The best proof we have for the validity of our faith, is for others to simply experience Jesus for themselves.  Encourage them to test the scriptures, pray, ask questions and seek God, cause if they do, they will find Him. If they test His promises they will find them to be trust worthy, if they experience Jesus for themselves, they will never turn away, they will believe in Him and live for Him, experiencing the abundant life He prepared and promised.

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