Immersion Into Colossians
In 2015, I started working through Colossians chapter 3 as an extra to my personal daily devotions. After a few months of doing that, I decided that I would spend time in the entire four chapters of this small New Testament letter. I even found a reading plan on my youversion Bible app called, “Immersion Into Colossians.” As the new year approached, I decided that I would read through this 7-day plan every week in 2016.
I often listen to the audio version on my app, and have found that now when I read from the book of Colossians, I use the same inflection as the narrator does. It tickles me.
As I have been diving in to this fascinating letter from Paul, I have been astonished to learn that the Creek congregation in Indianapolis is doing a 40-week study through Colossians this year. Dr. Gary Johnson is one of my heroes of the faith. Another hero of the faith, Dr. Dale Meade, has challenged my thinking this year when he suggested to start viewing Paul’s writings as a missionary communicating with a supporting church. Yikes!
As such, my reading of Colossians has convinced me of the two MAJOR purposes of that letter:
1)To combat a heresy that Jesus is not really God.
2)To instruct us Christ followers on how we should now live.
Since this blog comes from an unapologetic Christian viewpoint, let me just say that when Paul writes about Jesus in chapter 1 verses 19-20 (NIV) 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross that ends the discussion for me on this subject. Christ is Lord, Jesus is God, and our salvation comes ONLY through Him.
The “how we should now live” part is where the rubber meets the road. As the NLT puts it in Col. 3:1, since you have been raised to new life with Christ set your sights on the realities of heaven where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. If my perspective on how I live my life is not different than it was before I became a follower of Christ, then I am not truly following Him. I cannot continue thinking, acting, and living like I did when I was a pagan (Col. 3:6-7 reminds us: 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.) and expect to be okay in God’s eyes. Oh, chapter 3 continues to kick me in the hind quarters, as I see much that I still need to work on in my daily walk. It seems to me that I have opportunities nearly every day to put into practice treating others with tenderhearted mercies, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (See Col. 3:12). I daily need to remember to forgive others, because I can be just as thin-skinned as the next person.
So, may I ask a favor from you? Please pray for me in this regard. I promise that I will pray for you as well, but I am soliciting your prayers. It is my desire to live in such a manner that others will want to hang out with me so they can get to know Jesus better. I want people to see Jesus at work in my life so that Jesus is glorified. I just want Scott to get out of the way. Spending time daily in the book of Colossians and meditating on what those words mean for my life is how I am starting this process. Your prayers will be the next step in that process. Putting what I am learning into practice, well, that is the step that really counts!