6th June 2021. Sunday Devotion by Rev David Russell, Vicar, Christ Church, Woodford.
In today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Christians living in the city of Colossae, we see that Paul is ‘struggling’ for them (see 1:24, 1:29-2:1). In the original Greek of the passage, that word ‘struggle’ is associated with athletic contests – think here of the Olympic games. He’s working hard for them. And central to his ‘struggle’ is his desire to teach them, and to keep teaching them, about Jesus (1:25,28).
We also see Paul’s message – it’s a message all about the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the centre of God’s revealed ‘mystery’ that has now been made known, and which brings His people hope for the future (1:26-27). And Jesus is at the heart of all ‘wisdom and knowledge’ (2:2-3).
And we see Paul’s objective – he wants Christians to mature in the faith (1:28), to be united in love as they look to Jesus (2:2) and to not be led astray by the prevailing thinking of the culture in which they lived (2:4) but instead to stand firm in Christ – something he ‘rejoices’ that the Colossian Christians are, in fact, doing (2:5).
And so we see Paul’s struggle, his message and his objective. From this, there are 3 things for us today.
1. There’s a truth for us to know: Since Jesus Christ is the centre of God’s revealed truth, there is no-one greater for us to know. If we are on a ‘spiritual journey’ then that journey stops when we come to Jesus. We don’t look beyond Him to someone, or something, else – we simply remain steadfast to Him.
2. There’s an objective for us to aim for: Maturity in Christ – a growing relationship with Him.
3. And there’s a struggle for us to engage in: We’re encouraged here to daily seek to deepen our relationship with the Lord Jesus, and not to drift away from Him.
What we see then, is that Christianity is about an ever growing and maturing knowledge of, and deepening relationship with, and love for, Jesus Christ. We’re not to move on from Him, but to keep getting to know Him better. This means that no Christian should ever be static in their relationship with Jesus, or their faith in Him. We are simply to keep drawing closer to Jesus, and to not look elsewhere - not turning from Him, or adding others to Him.
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