Good Advice; November 13, 2018

Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

What marvelous advice! The world being as it is, we all need encouragement in our faith. Paul’s instructions are both simple and practical, reminding us first of all of the Lordship of Christ. After all, if Jesus isn’t our Lord, then we don’t belong to Him and can’t claim the salvation that comes through Him alone. However, just because Jesus is our Lord, that doesn’t mean we’re always obedient to Him, so Paul goes on to say that we are to continue to live in Him. That isn’t just to keep breathing but rather “live” as in “lifestyle.” That’s why the Greek says “walk,” because it is active. Sometimes we try to do that on our own, and fail miserably. We need to choose to be rooted and built up in Christ. These words of Paul bring to mind Jesus’ famous parable of the seeds and the soil. (Matthew 13:18-23) In that, Jesus said that without roots, we fall away quickly when difficulties come. We don’t want to be that way! Paul goes on to remind us that it is all by faith, and then he closes with the key to joy in it all; thankfulness. If we are constantly complaining about and resenting all the stuff we have to go through, we won’t be able to enjoy the abundant blessings God has for us in it all. When we are able to overflow with thankfulness, we see God’s smiling face even in the middle of the darkest circumstances, and that is blessing indeed.

This applies as much to me as it does to anyone. I too need to remember at all times who is Lord, never trying to “grab the wheel” myself, but trusting Him in every detail. I need to keep putting my roots deeper and deeper into Him and His Word, because there is no limit to the richness of what He has provided. My faith too endures attack, as the devil does all he can to discourage me, but I can stand up to it all in Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) And I certainly can and need to be thankful. God has poured out such an abundance of blessings on me that I can’t possible contain them all; I need to let them flow through me to those around me. If I’m not grateful, I will block the flow of those blessings and everyone will be poorer for it. As I preach to others, I need to receive the Word myself and act on it, for the glory of God.

Father, thank You for Your unending grace to me. Thank You for the totally unexpected blessing of the pilgrimage group coming by here yesterday. There were so many interconnections and confirmations in that, and we needed it. I say it frequently, but Your blessings are indeed unexpected, even unimagined. (Ephesians 3:20) Help me be more expectant of whatever You have around the corner, not letting the devil’s tricks pull me down but resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You, just as You have told me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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