Greetings to all,
I am so excited to be able to bring you this next study on “Life with Jesus” (Part 9). Over the years God has been really showing me how this life with Jesus should really look. It has taken me on a very interesting journey. In the “Church” I have seen very powerful and awesome things, as well as the darkest evil that can be imagined. I am amazed how much hurt can be done in a place where there should be none. I know that I am an idealist at times but, I think Jesus really wants us to live the impossible life. He has sent so many people into our lives that teach us all the things we need to know–love, grace, mercy, tenderness and forgiveness. Sometimes these lessons come through a negative situation but they all have the opportunity to be of great importance in our restoration process. So, this brings me to a question, “Do we understand why Jesus’s plan has us where we are?” I know this question means different things to different people. That is the beauty of the Holy Spirit–He will take you where you need to go!
Paul wants these people to know about the struggle that he has. Many people look at this as a bad attitude as, “Look at me and what I had to go through.” But what Paul is really trying to do is teach them how to struggle for each other. Do we really struggle for each other? Are we burdened for one another? Or are we just really living the “convenient” Christian life? You know the one that says I will do the right thing only if I am going that way or if I am not too busy. Paul says that his struggle is great. Do you greatly care for those God has brought into your life or do you care at all? Paul wanted His teaching to go beyond the people that he met. He wanted this good news to continue on long after he had left. He wanted these people to teach others how to struggle greatly for others. Is this not what Jesus was doing for us on the way to the cross? Think about it He left His throne to come and struggle for us. Should we not struggle for others?
I really love what is in the heart of Paul here. He wants people to be encouraged through struggle. He wanted them to have a common understanding of the hearts of people. That through all the struggle in life, Jesus is the One who holds all things together. Paul has the nerve to say that through this struggle we will find riches. He was not talking about riches of this earth but of the spiritual kingdom. We learn to love one another, to have grace for one another, to not be offended with one another and that gives us understanding that is rich in the knowledge of Jesus. Without struggle we would not know our need for Him or for each other. Jesus in the one that make sense in all the nonsense that we have to face in this life. He brings understanding and wisdom. This wisdom allows us to see why and not just wonder. I think many of us have had a time where we just wondered why but never had the opportunity to see the why. Here is a great exercise, think back to the last time we wondered why. Now, look for the why in light of Jesus. What was or is He trying to teach us. Here is another way to put it, “It’s all about Jesus and others, not you!”
We see in verse four why Paul is even talking about this struggle. Paul is trying to give us a defense against what the world is going to throw at us. The world is going to try to persuade you that it is all about you and if you don’t look out for you then you will be hurt, alone and confused. These arguments that we hear can be very persuading, but once Jesus is brought into the situation or in the argument then nothing can stand against it. The world says you need to be first, Jesus said you are to come last. The world says to hate your enemy, Jesus says to love your enemies and pray for them. The world says only do what you have to, Jesus said if you walk one mile with your brother, go two–do more than is accepted. Paul says that if He could not see the Colossians face to face, he would learn of this and know that these people were growing in Christ and that was all that really mattered to him. Notice that Paul said that he would be with them in spirit. He was telling then that he would pray and think of them often and he would see the results of their ministry to each other and those around them. When we are following the Holy Spirit and being obedient then it affects all we come in contact with. I really like that Paul says he would rejoice in their good order and strength. Many have said that the “good order” is their good works. I believe that it is talking about them keeping what matters at the forefront in their minds: Jesus, others and then themselves. This, to me, is the key to true spiritual strength; keeping the main thing the main thing.
As we reach the end of the first part of this study of Colossians 2, what have we learned?
- Struggling for people is a must in this life with Jesus.
- Struggling is not negative but it is a key way to grow in Christ. It gives us the start of learning, grace, mercy, love and forgiveness.
- Struggling for people is a defense for us not to be taken by arguments that the world has. Selfishness and pride go hand in hand in this world and we are so easily persuaded by these. So, to struggle or to serve one another is to cause us to put others before us so that we will stand firm in this life with Jesus
As you can see we have not finished with the all of Colossians 2:1-10, we are only half way! Over the last nine blog studies and with the next one I am laying a foundation for looking at the teachings of Jesus. I believe that many of us look at Jesus teaching with predetermined thoughts and ideas. I want us to look at this life with Jesus with fresh eyes. We will finish up this foundation work next time with Colossians 2:6-10. I look forward to spending more time with you.
In His Grip,