September 20, 2011 Devotion Sharing (Colossians 1)

Submitted by Jammy Y. from  Gracepoint Riverside Church
Colossians 1:21-23

Reflect on how much .v21 was true of my life before Christ, and is true today of people outside of Christ. 

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior

Verse 21 was definitely true of my life before I met Christ.  When I think about the kind of person I was, half the time, outwardly I came off like I was an innocent person.  Outwardly I did my best to say the right things and to do the right things.  However, while attempting all this, I knew that my mind was bent on evil, bent on how I can perhaps manipulate this person or use this person for my gain.  My mind would be focused on myself and focused on my selfish gains.  I see that my evil behaviors such as stealing, hatred, anger, lust, laziness only fueled my mind to think about such things.  All these things alienated me from God.  God is love and His desire is to love people, and in my evil behavior, in my quest to look out for myself, I alienated myself from God because, as an understatement, he is completely opposite of me.

Think about the way God reconciled me to Himself. 

22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

It’s amazing to think, that in regards to the kind of person I was, that God would still love me.  It’s amazing to think that God would subject His one and only begotten Son to die for my sins, and not only that, but through his death, would present me holy in sight, without blemish free from accusation.  Who am I to deserve this?  Who am I that the God of the universe, creator of all things would consider me? It says in v.16…

16 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.

This description of God would almost seem like He could just make ‘reconciliation’ happen, but this is far from the truth.  Instead, God chose suffering, sacrifice and eventually death to reconcile us.  This is the language of love that we all understand and that we can all identify and say, God really meant it.

Reflect on the words “to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” What is amazing about these words, and to what extent have I fully entrusted myself to these truths?

The result of Christ physical body being put through death is that I am presented to Him as holy in his sight, without blemish, and free from accusation.  These words are amazing because they are simply not true of me, yet in God’s eyes they are true of me.  I think about my almost two-year old daughter, Ellie, and how when I look at her I don’t think about all the times she was whiny, threw a fit for no good reason, or when she says no to me when I ask her to do something. No! But when I look at her I think about how she’s my precious daughter, I think about how much I lover her and how she’s the cutest baby in the world.  In the same way God sees me that way.  He knows that I’m a sinner through and through, but He also knows that there was something He did to take that away and to reconcile me.  I think on my better days these truths ring loud and true and when that happens there is a confidence in God that encourages me, that gives me strength to serve Him and courage to take risks for Him.  However, I know that there are days when my sins weigh me down, and when I feel defeated by failed attempts to struggle with my sins.  I recognize then how important it is to immerse myself in God’s word, to pray daily, and have personal times of worship so that I can fully entrust myself to these truths.

What do I need to do to “continue in [my] faith, established and firm?”  What is it that moves me away from the hope held out in the gospel?

23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

In order to “continue in my faith, established and firm,” I need to daily remind myself of these truths, through DT, through bible study and through messages. I need to hear the gospel message over and over again.  I also need to proclaim it, to preach and share it.  As I do both of these things I also need to take on the attitude of a servant as Apostle Paul did.  It is because of this gospel message that he labors to no end.  It is because of this message, that transformed his life, that he gives his all.  As I think about this coming quarter, I am thankful for the meaningful work he’s given me to do because I can both hear and proclaim this message.  I have the opportunity to serve and to take on that servant attitude.  As I think about the students we will meet, my prayer is that I will be able to struggle ‘with all his energy’ that is ‘powerfully’ working in me, to preach and share the message of reconciliation.

 

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