Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Three: Being Extremely Valued.
Our reading for today: Colossians 1: 21-23 (MsgB)
You yourselves are a case study of what He (Jesus) does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of Him, giving Him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving Himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in His presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.
This week, we’ve explored both the weightiness and the multiple dimensions of Christ’s love. In truth, there is nothing in our universe as powerful and strong, nor is there anything or anyone who can out distance it as well. Yet despite its’ great magnitude and worthiness, the agape love of God, as demonstrated through His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, can still be temporarily ignored by men and women who choose to do just that.
Just as the sun, the moon, and the stars shine steadily down on the earth’s surface, there are still those who will choose to walk through life with their eyes focused elsewhere, never looking up to investigate where the power that runs our planet comes from. The rays of the sun give this planet everything it needs in the way of heat and light, while the gravitational pull of the moon makes the oceans rise and fall. Yet, it’s very possible for a self-consumed person to be oblivious to such things for most, if not all, of their lives.
So it is with the agape love of Christ.
You and I live in a world that has been basking in the agape love of Christ for nearly two thousand years now. Our westernized calendars are specifically calculated to measure the amount of time that has occurred since His birth. Our society has been the long-time beneficiaries of His extended care. Most of our nation’s public educational institutions, our impressive medical institutions, and many other socially-conscious organizations can trace their roots back to men and women who started these works for the glory of His name. In fact, a day doesn’t go by in our world where Christ and His representatives are not pro-actively involved in shaping people’s lives for the betterment of mankind.
Yet, through it all, there are countless individuals who believe that God doesn’t exist, the claims of Christ are worthless, and that their lives are a creation of their own making. But as Paul states here in his letter to the Colossian church, those of us who have acknowledged the Christ-event, and have become increasingly aware of the benefits of doing so, are to be considered fortunate indeed. We, as followers of Christ, have been chosen, not by our own strength and wisdom, but by God to be raised out of our selfish consumptions, our dull unawareness, and have been given the great opportunity to see the light of the Son and feel the pull of His love, changing our lives from the inside out!
And as Paul states ever so boldly…
You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.
So that’s the Message, as Paul clearly states it. You and I, as followers of Jesus, are case studies in God’s laboratory of agape love. But we’re so much more than simple lab rats! We are chosen sons and daughters of God, given a great gift of awareness and purpose. An opportunity to live this life here on planet earth under the direction of God, our Father, purposed by Christ, and indwelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit!
With that knowledge and awareness, you and I can step out boldly (and humbly!) into our world to give glory and honor to the One who made all these things possible.
Here’s to You, Jesus of Nazareth. Long live the King!
My prayer: Jesus, You are my firm foundation and, indeed, I am a case study in how a wretched sinner gets pulled out of his filth and hopelessness, and redeemed and restored by the merciful hand of God! I thank You, Jesus, for that foundation of agape love that keeps me grounded in all our Creator has for me. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So what sins of selfishness are serving as a strong gravitational pull on my life today? How can I find ways of staying grounded and steady in the bond of trust that Jesus supplies for me? How can I encourage others in that same goodness and mercy as well?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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If you’ve been reading our Who Are You…Really? series, this concludes the 9-session blog. Click here to go back to our Who Are You…Really? homepage…