Basics; May 22, 2019

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.

This chapter is loaded with deep truth, but this simple admonition is what resonates with me right now. One way you could express the message of these two verses is, “Stay the course.” It is amazing how many people fit the unproductive examples in Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed. (Matthew 13:18-23) We allow any of a wide variety of things to distract us from following through with God’s call on our lives. God calls us first of all to Himself and to life in His kingdom. That means different things for each individual, but the things mentioned here are basic and should be universal. They are, first and foremost, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which means we are to put down deep roots (going back to Jesus’ parable) and grow up tall, with strong faith, not deviating from the basics of the Gospel, and responding to God’s grace with gratitude. There is no believer to whom those things do not apply, whether your specific assignment is president of a seminary or driving a garbage truck. Just this week I’ve talked with more than one person about how we expect famous people who happen to be Christians to be spiritual giants, when often they are immature and distracted by their very fame. That’s not fair to them, and it is often used by the enemy to mislead others who tend to go by this world’s standards of importance. We keep coming back to James’ admonition to apply the truth we know. (James 1:22) If we will be consistent in doing that, we will be the rich soil of Jesus’ parable, bearing abundant fruit for His glory. (John 15:8)

This is nothing if not practical, and we are in the middle of more training in it, particularly in the area of “overflowing with thankfulness.” It currently looks very unlikely that my wife will get out of the hospital today, as was originally scheduled. That is a major blow to us emotionally, because our 50th wedding anniversary is coming up in two days and we were counting on her being out by then. As I so often tell others, God is more interested in our character than our comfort, and we need to be grateful that He knows better than we do and is always working for our best. He is clearly doing good things in this church, and we need to focus on Him rather than on ourselves. If we will do that, our roots will grow ever deeper and our faith ever stronger, to bear good fruit indeed for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s not easy dealing with emotions and expectations and the like, not to mention the physical wringer Cathy is going through. I pray that today’s tests will be accurate and the doctor’s decisions likewise, cooperating with Your full healing and health for Cathy, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

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