I have 4 adorable grandsons! Two of them live close enough for me to see often. About a month ago, I had 5 year old Evan and 4 year old Carter for the day. We decided to go visit G-G. G-G is my 89 year old mother in law who lives at Trinity Retirement Community not too far away.
When we had visited before, I couldn't help but notice how the typically serious and sad looking residents seemed to "come alive!" So as we were driving over to Trinity, I was preparing the boys to be greeted by many older people longing to, in a sense, "get a piece of them!"
"You boys are so special! The older people here just love when you come!" I told them.
"Why, Babci (my Polish name for "G'ma)?
"Because you're little (and not scarey) and loving and fun and friendly. These people are lonely and sad and afraid."
So sure enough, as Rock Stars Evan and Carter walked in, the place came alive! Every aged face was glowing and longing for a smile, a touch, a handshake, a hello...
Later as we were driving away after our visit, I said, "Didn't I tell you? You boys are so special!"
Younger brother Carter replied, "THAT boy (pointing to older brother Evan) is NOT special!!!"
"Why do you say that?" I ask somewhat taken aback.
"Because he's mean to me!"
Catching my breath, I respond, "Oh Evan IS still special. He's just not acting like the special boy that he is!"
And later I thought, what a good metaphor for how we "new creatures in Christ," filled with His fulness, still don't act like the special people we are in Him!
So far in our journey through Colossians, we've basically seen the truths summarized in this big idea:
Because of the mystery of Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ lives His full, divine, resurrection life in and through me, as me.
1. He livesunited to me in His fulness(chapters 1 & 2).
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Col 2:9-10 ESV
2. He lives united to me for myfreedom (especially chapter 2).
In him also you were circumcised ...by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith... And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities...by triumphing over them in him. Col 2:11-15 ESV
And now...this week is Focusing Week (and our final week) in our continuing, restful, summer study in the book of Colossians. And so this third point...
3. He lives united to me as myfocus (chapters 3 & 4).
In the last two chapters in this glorious epistle, Paul starts out...
If [Since...] then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Col 3:1-4 ESV
Look for the key exhortations in Col 3:1-4. Write them in your journal. After that, look for the reasons, right in the same four verses. List them also.
Then look for the metaphor of "clothing," starting in Col 3:5 through Col 4. Make two columns in your journal titled Lay aside/Put off and Put on. List each of the exhortations in chapters 3 and 4 in one of those two columns.
Because of our indwelling Christ, we can live a holy, God-filled life...a life consistent with the special people we are in Him. This is not because He "helps us" live it. Rather He lives it through us as we let Him [faith].
In the next post in this series, we'll look at a principle that I wholeheartedly believe:
We become like what we focus on! Colossians 3:1-4
And then in our final post of our study in Colossians, we will explore Paul's metaphor of clothing and the principle of faith [reckoning]. Colossians 3:5ff
Then the Grand Finale :)
Thank you so much for journeying with me through this marvelous treasure of Scripture called the epistle to the Colossians. We have barely scratched the surface, so keep reading and meditating and praying!
My prayer has been that in the course of these weeks together, our equations may have changed to be closer to that of our Father God:
Our Lord Jesus Christ (His glorious Son) +Nothing (not religion, wealth, pleasure, fame,...) = Everything...LIFE itself!!!!!