The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere.” (1 Thessalonians 1:8)
I pray that as we live out the gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit and conviction, our church community might become known by our faith in God – not by our preaching, teaching, events, worship styles, building, or demographics, but by our faith.
I had a difficult time trying to find a name for this blog site. I actually mulled it over a couple days and asked a friend for input. Some of them were actually taken, or declared as dumb after a bit of thought. Some ‘highlights’included – HolyCheese, SuperBlessed, FreshCheese, CheeseAlive, toastedcorn, BibleBoy, RagingMonk, onelife, soulreflections, godismoving, secretagentlonwong, expagan, chasingjesus, soulmovement, uprising & freshbread. Pretty silly eh?
Imagine a gathering of people who have each discovered a way to know and communicate with the Creator of the Universe. Each of them growing daily in purpose and passion as the God of heaven and earth reveals more of himself to them each passing moment. They share stories all day – personal teachings from the Greatest person to ever live – building one another up with nothing but words of encouragement and truth. Their excitement erupts into singing – each person uniquely expressing their thankfulness and praise to the one who gave them a life worth living.
This is the community that I imagine as Paul encourages the Colossians,
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Col 3:16)
A community of people so touched by the love of God and possessing the heart of God in whatever they do,
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” (Col 3:17, 23)
Father God let me offer up this entire day to you.
All the wedding pictures coming soon…
There is so much being taught in Colossians 3, I think I’m going to break out of my chapter a day mold and only meditate on the first half this morning.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-2).
Just trying to imagine the scripture this morning – my life hid with Christ in God who is seated at the right hand of God. While I’m here on earth, I continue to set my heart on this vision of my life with Christ. This life is no longer mine and I am “being renewed in the knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col 3:10).
This is an incredible thought, that God himself, the creator of the universe, has redeemed me and is renewing me in his image. A character with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…” (Col 3:12). Yvonne put it well yesterday when she gave me her description of God’s glory – as God’s character manifested in us. This is why we’re called sons and daughters of Glory!
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)
I think if I meditated on this just a couple years ago, I’d have a difficult time saying that I was rooted in Christ. I would probably say that I had more adapted Christ into the roots I already had. But today I know that I am rooted in him. Although I often forget and am even often deceived I know that at the root of my being the spirit of God resides there. The issue today is whether I’m being built up in him – sometimes I reject and disobey, often pulling down the bricks of my life as quickly as I lay them.
I’ve been learning that God takes the building of my character and my faith very seriously, much more seriously than my seriousness about doing great things for Him. I think I often put the cart before the horse when it comes to trying to transform those around me before I myself have been truly changed. It dawned on me today that possibly some people around me live apathetic lives due to what shows in my own life. The thought of this is excruciating to me, yet as a child of God I have this undying hope and utter thankfulness knowing that God will complete all that He has started. And there will come a time when I am all that He has called me to be.
“We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in everyway…” (Col 1:10)
It’s hard to picture what that looks like, “a life worthy of the Lord”, but I think Paul answers it immediately by “pleasing him in everyway”. This may look different for all of us depending on our circumstances and gifting. There’s not much we can do about the circumstances that we’re born into and the talents and gifting that each of us have. I can read books and go to conferences and grow some of my skills through that, but the honest truth is that much of who we are is who we are. But what we can change is the intensity and the passion we choose to use what God has given us and in doing so please God in everyway.
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” (Col 1:28)
Paul gives an incredible example to live by, struggling, laboring, and working… while having God, and ‘all his energy’ working in us. I really want to be used by God to the fullest… and I hope that I can give absolutely all that I can as He works in me.
Well I’ve decided to start journaling online again. I’ve never managed to keep one of these going for more than a year. From my childhood days when I ran my own BBS to several sites I tried to maintain over the past 4 years. Hopefully by going with the simple blogger pre-set system it’ll be a little easier to manage.
I’ve had several apprehensions about starting out again, one simply because I know it’s not the best way of communicating with people. From everything I’ve learned about communicating to people things like blogs and email is that it may be efficient, but it’s questionable whether it’s actually effective. As my wonderful wife always tells me there’s not like some good face to face. My friend ebrian mentions his struggles here trying to maintain friendships / conversations when some people read what you write while others don’t.
The other thing that’s been holding me back is that maybe I’m too old to be blogging. It’s not like I don’t have a million other things to do, and do I really want to expose my thoughts now that I’m an adult? Where most teens I know love sharing completely unfiltered, I find most adults I know have grown increasingly cautious about the things that they say… likely for fear of criticism and judgment.
I find that I too share these fears somewhat. That some may say “that’s not completely correct”, “I could have communicated that much better”, “Is that as deep as he can go?”… I’ve been teaching others and learning myself the last while that these fears are false and in no way should stop any one of us from being who God has called us to be, just as we are.
Anyhow, I hope to journal online as a spiritual discipline. I find writing down my devotions solidify many of my thoughts and help me hold myself accountable. I hope that it also does provide some form of encouragement and that some of you might also be able to pull out a nugget or two of insight as I strive to be a genuine follower of Jesus.