Sunday, June 1, 2014

God’s Nature: Revealed in Christ (Colossians 1:15 – 1:23)

I am a big fan of Lebron James. But as I watched the playoffs this this last week, I thought, “Glory is hard taskmaster.” Lebron promised Miami a handful of championships, and now there is tremendous pressure on him to win. He gets high renown and honor if he performs up to expectations, but he can go from hero to zero over the course of just two games. He may look magnificent in the moment, but those moments fade, and then he has to look magnificent again by doing something amazing yet again.

But let’s be honest: We pursue glory (renown, recognition and applause) in our homes, our work place, our church, online, with our friends. We want to be renown for something. We might not say “Look at me!” but we think it and hope it.  And if being noticed become the most important thing – an idol, really - we will need to keep accomplishing things, and we will need to have people around us who notice.

God's Will: Fulfilled in Christ (Colossians 1:3-1:14)

“Paul, an emissary of Jesus the Anointed serving at God’s pleasure, along with our brother Timothy  to you, dear holy and faithful brothers and sisters in the family of the Anointed who live in Colossae. May grace and peace from God our Father [and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One envelop you.  As always, we’ve been praying for you, thanking God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed,  ever since we heard of your faith in Jesus the Anointed and your love for His holy ones—  a faith and love that emerge from the hope you have heard about in the word of truth—the gospel—the very hope that awaits you in heaven.  
The same gospel that was brought to you is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has been growing among you since the day you heard and took in the truth of God’s grace from our beloved fellow servant Epaphras. (He is a faithful minister of the Anointed on our behalf.)  He was the one who told us how you demonstrate your love by the power of the Spirit. Since the day we got this good news about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We ask: 
‘Father, may they clearly know Your will and achieve the height and depth of spiritual wisdom and understanding.  May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to You. 
Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will attain every single thing they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully.  Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the Light.  You have rescued us from Dark and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, whom You love and in whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood].’” (Colossians.1-13, The Voice)
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Paul prayed that they would find God's perfect will. What does that look like? What is God’s will for us? For you? For some, the lack of clarity almost freezes them. What if they choose the wrong career? What if they marry the wrong person? On the other hand, some just don’t care. They grow skeptical about “hearing from God” (whatever that means) and just do what the feel like doing.  So is there a way to know what God’s will is for your life? Yes, in fact, there is. It’s right here in Paul’s greeting.