Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The work of God

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Colossians 1:15-29

TO CHEW ON: "Him (Christ) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily." Colossians 1:28-29

When the goal is in mind and the focus is clear we may surprise even ourselves with how single-purposed we can be. Hours spent designing those house plans, writing that book, preparing for that talk just melt away as we strive toward the goal we see so clearly.

Yesterday we looked at the part of Colossians 1 where Paul prayed that the Christians in Colosse would know God's will. That's like conceptualizing the goal. Today we can see what can happen when that knowledge is energized not only by our own desire to see it happen, but by the very working of God in us.

Paul's goal is to get the news, that eternal life is available through Jesus, out to "every man." But he doesn't do this in his own strength. He is energized by "His (Jesus') working which works in me mightily" (vs. 29).

This Christ-in-me working accomplishes more than just energizing the spread of the gospel. It has the potential to impact all of life as Jack Hayford explains in a sidebar article in my Bible:

"'In Christ' is the expression Paul most frequently uses to designate the new life potential through the gospel. The Messiah (Christ) being King, the term clearly places the believer in the circle of all that is represented and contained in the King, His salvation conquest, and His personal rule.

The essential truth is that the Savior-King has come, and in Him the rule of God has altered the limits sin has heretofore placed on individuals. People no longer need be ruled by their carnality (flesh) or controlled by evil (the Devil)" - Jack Hayford, "Terminology of the Kingdom," New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1673 (emphasis added).

May we all cooperate with "His working which works in me mightily" to flesh  this out into purposeful, victorious living.

PRAYER: Dear God, please give me a fresh picture of Your will for me, my neighbours and my world. Help me to find my place in accomplishing it as You work in me (mightily too, please). Amen.

MORE: Different roles
I'd be the first to admit I'm no evangelist. That's probably why Paul's passion for spreading the Gospel makes me feel guilty. However, I can get excited about other jobs that are part of kingdom work - like being a "waterer." I take inspiration from passages like 1 Corinthians 3:5-9:

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers…"

What do you consider your role in God's work?


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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