Today’s Reading: Colossians 2:6-15
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
What great instructions for us! Paul is very clear about what comes after our salvation decision – we are to continue to follow Him, growing into Him and building our lives on Him. When we remain in Him, rooted and established, daily spending time in God’s presence, we will grow. There will always be a next step and more understanding to be gained as we continue to follow Him, growing stronger each day. But this growth cannot take place apart from the source, which takes me back to three of my favorite passages of Scripture: John 15, Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17.
Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who He is – when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. – John 15:4-8 (The Message)
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – Psalm 1:2-3 (NIV)
So, back to Colossians 2:7, when your roots are planted in Christ, your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. This morning my coffee cups overflows with thankfulness – I choose to be thankful for God’s provision, thankful for God’s faithfulness, thankful for opportunities, thankful for friends, thankful for His Church, and thankful for the close relationship I share with Him. God is so good and we have so much to be thankful for.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. – Colossians 2:8-10
I love how the Message rewords these verses: You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him.
Several times in my life I have been asked how I know Christ is alive or what evidence I have that He is real and the answer is found in THE EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST. Once you have experienced Jesus, and as you remember what your life was like before you committed to Him, there’s no doubt of who He is and the difference He has made in your life. It is another hidden treasure as we get to know the mystery of Christ living within us (Col. 1:27, 2:3). In this personal relationship with Jesus, we experience fullness or as the NLT states it –So you also are complete through your union with Christ (2:10) – and that is enough evidence for me!
Let’s read on to the next few verses where Paul describes the difference Jesus makes in the lives of His followers.
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision – the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. – Colossians 2:11-14
Praise God! More evidence that Christ is real – the change of who we are. We are no longer the person we were before we were raised to new life in Him. We are forgiven, we have been buried with Christ through baptism, and we know what it is to trust God and be filled to overflowing with peace and thankfulness.
Jesus is real. How do I know? THE EVIDENCE IS IN MY LIFE and in the lives of God’s people all around me – lives changed and made complete through their union with Christ made possible by the cross. Verse 15 speaks of the victory that took place when Jesus was crucified. Forgiveness is possible and transformation takes place because Jesus was willing to suffer and die so that we could be made ALIVE with Him!
Thank you, Jesus, for the confidence we can have in our salvation because of the obvious difference you have made in our life! I am so thankful this morning that I know what it means to be ALIVE WITH CHRIST. My heart is full and overflowing with the peace that comes from You. Lord, I give you my day. Make Your presence in my life the evidence that others need in order to trust in You. Amen.