Today’s reading: Colossians 1:19-23
We must remember that 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, as we talked about 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 the focus is on me. I have to remind myself once again that IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME. 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. – Colossians 1:15-17,21-23a
Christ gave himself COMPLETELY at the cross – He surrendered so that we could be reconciled to God, so that we could be made right with God. This brings us to the fourth point. There is no faith without fruit, no inheritance without holiness, no salvation without surrender, and…
THERE IS NO REDEMPTION WITHOUT RECONCILIATION.
God rescued us from the dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. – Colossians 1:13-14 (The Message)
Without Christ’s surrender, there would be no salvation, no forgiveness of sins. Sin separates us from God because He is holy. We were alienated from Him. Stop. Read that again and again until you fully understand what that means: We were alienated from God. Alienated. Jesus’ selfless act of sacrifice on the cross PULLED US OUT OF THE PIT we were in! He gave us the opportunity to be reconciled to our Creator – to the place where we now find our purpose. By dying on the cross, Jesus pulled us out and brought us over to God’s side. He put our lives together, making us whole and holy in his presence. What a gift!
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Has the reality of what Christ did for us become so commonplace that it no longer reaches the core of our being? Have we lost the WONDER of this news or the AWE of the sacrifice God made for us when He sent His Son? Have we heard the message over and over again but we still don’t completely get it?
Yesterday we sang a song of worship and the lyrics got my attention with this same thought. Am I still in awe of what Jesus did for me so that I could be reconciled to God? Does the recognition of the sacrifice He made bring me to my knees in complete surrender to the One I owe my all to?
“There’s a place where sin and shame are powerless
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness
Where all the love I’ve ever found comes like a flood
Comes flowing down.
At the cross, at the cross, I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You, I’m in awe of You.
Where love ran red and my sin washed white.
I owe all to You, I owe all to You.” – At The Cross (Love Ran Red) sung by Chris Tomlin
Written by Benji Cowart, William R. Newell, Jenna Cowart, Matt Armstrong • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group
Once we fully recognize the price that was paid, 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.