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 is excellent advice for everyone who has believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Far too often we tend to think of our salvation as a past event, when nothing could be further from the truth. Being in the flow of time we have trouble grasping the reality that God, being outside of time, sees everything as now. Past, present, and future are all the same to Him. Being in time ourselves, we are called to grow and mature over time, but from the moment we committed ourselves to Jesus as Lord, we passed from death to life, from darkness to light. The issue then becomes one of how we live out what God has made us to be in Christ Jesus. The Japanese here, in more literal agreement with the Greek, speaks of “walking in Christ,” rather than “living.” Walking is by definition active: you can’t do it sitting down. We tend to want to be spiritual couch potatoes, just taking in God’s blessings and not doing anything. That doesn’t cut it! Faith in Christ is something that is to be lived out actively in every area of our lives. We tend to act as though being a Christian were like watching sports on TV, when actually we are the contestants in the game. Sometimes we see believers who are like Olympic-level athletes of faith and so discount our own efforts, but the fact remains that we are all in the same game, and the same Lord guarantees our eventual victory, if we will simply follow His directions.
This of course applies to me, and as a pastor I seek to help believers understand that it applies, and how it applies, to them. I feel like I have wildly varying success with that! Some people are like caterpillars, steadily consuming the Word on a daily basis, and I know they will eventually be beautiful butterflies indeed. Others seem like fleas, hopping around at times but generally contributing little more than discomfort to the Church. I am not to be judgmental but I am to be discerning, not allowing the “fleas” to distract me from God’s plans for this church. God can even transform “fleas” into butterflies, if they will get into the Word and allow it to abide in them. If I focus in the “itch” they generate at the moment, I myself will fail to overflow with thankfulness, as Paul specifies here. If I fail to keep my eyes on Christ, instead being distracted by people’s failures, including my own, I will indeed lose the gratitude that opens my heart to receive the abundance of God.
Father, thank You for this clear Word. Help me now get it into an appropriate outline to be able to share it with the flock on Sunday. I feel like I have a great deal to do today, but You got me through a packed schedule yesterday, and You will do it again today. May I not run away from anything You have on my schedule, today or any day, but do each thing in turn by Your wisdom and strength, so that everything will be done as You intend, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Praise God!