As I mentioned Tuesday, we cannot earn our way into Heaven – the fruit of our lives needs to be a natural outflow of God’s presence in our lives so that He gets the glory. In the same way, holiness doesn’t have to be something we strive for or try harder to obtain, but instead a result of God’s work in our hearts. Every good and wonderful thing in our lives comes from God. It goes back to the source of our salvation, which is where our third statement from Scott’s sermon took us yesterday.
Confession time! When I first heard this point, I immediately thought, “Oh yes, in order to experience salvation I have to surrender my life to God.” And there’s nothing wrong with that thought except that once again I made it about me. It’s not all about me – something I have to often remind myself. The surrender Paul is talking about here begins with Christ’s surrender. Let’s look further at Colossians 1 but this time in The Message:
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels – everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment…
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted (1:15-17,21-23a).
Christ gave himself COMPLETELY at the cross – He surrendered so that we could be reconciled to God. This brings us to the fourth point:
There is no REDEMPTION without RECONCILIATION
Christ “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (1:14). Without this surrender, there would be no salvation, no forgiveness of sins. Jesus’ selfless act of sacrifice on the cross gives us the opportunity to be reconciled with our Creator – to the place where we started and can now find our purpose. By dying on the cross, Jesus brought us over to God’s side and put our lives together, making us whole and holy in his presence. What a gift!
And now let’s go back to making it about us, because we have a decision to make. Are we going to accept that gift? Are we going to surrender to our own plans and purpose, or accept the gift of redemption and allow God sovereignty in our lives? That means God gets to be in charge and we submit to His purpose for our lives – for our day.
Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to surrender your life on the cross so that I could have an intimate walk with God – so that I could be reconciled to the One who created me and to His purposes. Thank you for bringing me from darkness into the light. I choose to start my day by submitting to your will, to your plan for my life. Please continue to do a work in my heart today. Help me to stay grounded and steady by trusting in You. Amen.