Friday, June 10, 2011

I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)

My personal opinion is that all our problems and all the world's problems ultimately stem from our trying to meet some perceived need in our lives the wrong way.  There!  Now we can all go out and work hard to make the world a better place, right?

Not so fast!

Today's blog centers around Colossians 2:10, which declares that we have been made complete in Christ.  Let's take a quick look at how the New English Translation renders Colossians 2:9,10 so we get the context of today's Scripture:

"For in him [Christ] all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority."

Okay.  Here's my paraphrase of the NET:  Jesus is completely God in a human body and you have been completed as a human being if you are in Christ, who by the way, is in charge of everything.

You see, our desperate and vain efforts to meet our own needs our own way are doomed to fail, because what (actually who) we need is God !  And when you are joined to Christ you get all of God and you are therefore...complete!  You are filled.  And once you realize that and begin to find your life, meaning, value, purpose, acceptance and security in are truly satisfied at the deepest core level of your heart and soul.

Money won't fill you.  Stuff won't complete you.  A certain job won't meet all your needs.  Even people and all they can bring into your life won't ultimately complete you...though once you are rooted and established in the love of God in Christ, He will use human relationships to supplement (but not ever be a substitute for) the riches that are yours in Christ!

So NOW you can go out and make the world a better place...not looking for something to fill the emptiness in your soul and somehow make you feel like a whole person...but because now that you ARE complete in Christ, you have something to give to a very needy world that is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins (Colossians 1:14)

"I can't get to the cross," the young man I was counseling sadly told me.  During a follow-up to our freedom appointment "Mark" confessed that he was still carrying a heavy load of guilt over his sin that was suffocating his soul and squeezing every bit of joy and hope from his heart.

"Yes you can," I responded.  "Christ is waiting for you.  His arms are wide open to you.  Your sins have already been nailed to the cross, but you need to take this list of sins that still haunt you to the cross and nail them there and leave them there forever."

It was agonizing watching "Mark" struggle with receiving the forgiveness that was already his in Christ.  After a long time and a lot of prayer, he finally looked up from his list with a smile on his face that lit up the room.  By his own testimony, this was the first time he had ever experienced real joy in 21 years!  "Mark" tore up his list and we started singing hymns of praise to God.  He had made it to the cross and discovered that he was already completely and totally forgiven and cleansed.  The burden he had carried all these years had been a lie, for "Mark" had been a follower of Christ since his childhood.

What about you?  Can you relate to what "Mark" went through?  Are you carrying a burden that is choking out all the joy and hope in your life?  Do you think that God is a forgiving others...but somehow your sin is too great or too habitual or too...that you are disqualified from being truly forgiven in Christ?  Let me encourage you to think about the following Scriptures, asking God to open your eyes:

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."     (Colossians 1:13,14)

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross." 
                                                                                                      (Colossians 2:13,14)

In Christ, how many of your sins have been forgiven?  All!  Where is that sin list that was against you and which stood opposed to you?  Nailed to the cross!  Have you been carrying around a "photocopy" of that sin list, allowing the enemy to beat you up and haunt you over that which has already been forgiven?  Then perhaps, like "Mark", you need to take that phony list and nail it to the cross once and for all and leave it there...forever!