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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

School's out

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.  (Col. 2:6-7)


Paul writes to the Colossian church with the heart of a father.  He is concerned that they know how deeply God loves them, how desirous he is of relationship with them, and that he wants us well-established in our walk.  In the previous verses of this chapter, Paul says, "I want you woven into a tapestry of love..."  What more could we ask for than to be woven together with other believers, learning to love with all the grace God gives and growing in that grace with other believers?


As he goes on in this chapter, he reminds the church that they have received the mysteries hidden for so many years - because they have been given the Holy Spirit of God and are witnesses to the resurrection of Christ.  Paul is challenging the church to not be caught up by every new doctrine or "super-spiritual" doctrine that comes along.  He wants them to recognize that they have already received the complete revelation of the Kingdom of God and now they need to live in it.


Paul says his counsel is both simple and straightforward.  In other words, you don't need to have been schooled at the finest of Bible Colleges to get it.  You have been given the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind and to bring to your understanding the truths contained within the Word.  The amazing thing that Paul gives us in this passage is the "clearness" of direction for our lives - he tells us that we have been given Christ; now it is time to live him!


Ever been given a gift and then put it carefully away for safe-keeping?  You are so taken with the value of the gift that you don't want to risk breaking it, you don't want to wear it out - so you tuck it away, admiring it every so often, and saying how lovely it is to have received that gift.  That is not what it is to be like now that we have been given Jesus - we are to put him on display, "using" him, not just admiring him!  Live him!  What does that mean?  It means that at every opportunity, Christ is on display - his character becomes our character, affecting our choices and displayed in our actions.  Sometimes we get so concerned about what people think about "Christ in us" that we forget to enjoy the privilege of "Christ in us."  


Today, let's pull Jesus out of the closet and let him be on display in our lives.  We've been founded well on him - let him give our lives stability today.  We've been taught well his doctrine - let it direct our choices today.  We've been deeply-rooted in him - let us find nourishment in the soil of his life and strength against the winds of chaos that cut across our path today.  It is time to put into practice what we have learned - put it on display today and see what God may do in and through you!