Approaching Sunday

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Christ in You

I admire Paul’s selflessness. He radiates an “all I have is Christ” attitude and mindset. He begins this passage (Colossians 1:24-29) explaining how it brings him joy to suffer for Jesus’s sake because he accepts and appreciates the responsibility God has given him to proclaim the gospel. In this portion of the letter, he clarifies the need for Christians to be serious about ministry as he points the readers to the revealed mystery of God’s glory: Jesus Christ lives within them.

 Some people need to know “how” or “what” in a situation, but I’m a “why” person. I can face a lot of challenges if I understand why I have to do something. I’m thankful for Paul’s words here because he explains why we must be on fire for the gospel: Jesus is in us and empowers us to do so. As Paul explains in verses 28-29, “we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

 As Paul reveals one mystery, a few other mysteries crop up, such as what do we do with this portion of Jesus within us and how does Jesus work within us? We aren’t told what to do to share Jesus with others. There isn’t a sample manuscript for sharing the gospel or a flashy “5 Steps to Convert Someone to Christ” article in the New Testament. We aren’t told how Jesus dwells inside of us. Is there a physical particle? Is he in our brain?  I know that all sounds crazy, but at least we know why. We are to spend our energy and time allowing Jesus to work within us. How and what we do to share this gift of the gospel is part of our autonomy in Christ, but know that no matter what or how you choose to use your God-given spiritual gifts, you are assured of the hope of glory, or Jesus Christ working within your efforts.

Posted by Laura Rogers with

The Supremacy of Christ

Colossians 1:18-20

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

               Here we are with another “Approaching Sunday.”  The fact that you are taking time to read this article would indicate that you have placed an importance on preparing yourself for God’s message this weekend.  Perhaps you are in a quiet place with time to contemplate these thoughts.  Perhaps you are waiting in line or at a stop light looking at this article on your phone.  Maybe you choose to read it with your family or small group.  Whatever the case, your actions show your desire to make room for Christ in your life.

               The verses we will look at this Sunday use a fantastic word: “preeminent.”  Christ should be preeminent in all things.  Biblestudytools.com defines this word as “to put first.”  According to Colossians 1:18 we should put Christ first in all things.  What does this look like?

               Here is an exercise I learned long ago that I would like to present as a challenge to you.  At the end of the day, take out a piece of paper and a pen (or a computer or tablet).  Think back to the moment your alarm went off this morning and write down all that you have done.  It may look something like this:

               Got out of bed and got ready for work, ate breakfast, etc.

               Drove to work

               Had a meeting

               Went to lunch with a co-worker

               You get the idea.  After you list the activities, go back and ask yourself this question:  “Did I put Christ first in each specific thing?”  If the answer is yes, how did you do it?  If the answer is no, how could you have done it?   Here are some examples:

               As I drove to work, I got cut off in traffic.  I made it very clear with my body language that I was angry with the other driver.  This was not putting Christ first.  I should have exhibited more patience and understanding.  At lunch, I was asked to go to lunch with a friend in the office.  Realizing that it might not look good for me to be at lunch alone with another man (being a married woman) I asked another friend to join us.  Not only did I avoid any appearance of evil, making Christ preeminent in my actions, but I was able to share my faith with both of my co-workers as we chatted over lunch.

               This exercise, done daily, will help you see the practicality of putting Christ first in EVERYTHING.  All too often, I believe that we only make room for Him in our lives.  We put Him first in the religious category of our lives, but when it comes to every detail of every day, we do not make His preeminence a priority.  As I practiced this day after day, I started seeing Christ intersecting with everything.   I hope that it can help you in this way too.

Posted by Bethany Lay with

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