I am going to give you the complete knowledge of My Father’s will, along with spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that the way you live will always honour and please Me, and your life will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know Me better and better.
I will strengthen you with all My glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. And you will be filled with My joy, always thanking My Father.
My Father has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to all of My people, those who live in the light, by rescuing you from the kingdom off darkness and transferring you into My Kingdom. I, dearly beloved of My Father, purchased your freedom and forgave you all of your sins.
I am the visible image of the invisible God. I existed before anything was created, and I am supreme over all creation, for through Me, My Father created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.
I made the things you can see and the things you cannot see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Me and for Me.
I existed before anything else, and I hold all creation together.
I am the head of the church, which is My body.
I am the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So I am first in everything.
God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Me, and through Me God reconciled everything to Himself.
I made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of My blood on the cross.
This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemy, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now My Father has reconciled you to Himself through My physical death. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.
Continue to believe this truth, and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the good news.
This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to you, for My Father wanted you to know that My riches and glory are for you. And this is the secret: I live in you. This gives you assurance of sharing My glory.
I am God’s mysterious plan. In Me lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
And now, just as you have accepted Me as your Lord, continue to follow Me. Let your roots grow down in Me, and let your life be built on Me. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Me. In Me lives all the fullness of God in a human body, so you also are complete through your union with Me. I am the head over every ruler and authority.
You were once dead because of your sins, and your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Yet when you came to Me, you were ‘circumcised,’ but not by a physical procedure. I performed a spiritual circumcision on you – the cutting away of your sinful nature. You were buried with Me when you were baptized, and with Me you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who resurrected Me from the dead. My Father made you alive with me, when He forgave all your sins. He canceled the record of the charges against you and took it away by nailing it to My cross. In this way, I disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. I shamed them publicly by My victory over them on the cross.
So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. These rules are only shadows of the reality which has come. And I am that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Me, the head of the body. I hold the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as My Father nourishes it.
You have died with Me, and I have set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. ‘Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!’? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as they are used. They may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
Since you have been raised to new life with Me, set your sights on the realities of heaven; where I sit in the place of honour at My Father’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth, for you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with me, in God. And when I, your life, am revealed to the whole world, you will share in My glory.
Since My father chose you to be a holy person He loves, clothe yourself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for other people’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, I forgave you, so you, too, forgive others. Above all, clothe yourself with love, which binds you together with others in the church in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from me rule in your heart, for as a member of My one body, you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let my message in all its richness, fill your life. Teach and counsel others with all the wisdom I give. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to My Father, with a thankful heart. And whatever you do or say, do it as My representative, giving thanks through Me to God the Father.
With unfailing and unconditional love,
Your Lord, Jesus the Christ
We follow an amazing God who loves us with unfailing and unconditional love
We serve an amazing God who sent His Son to become one of us and live among us
We worship an amazing God whose death on the cross gives to us…
Total forgiveness – past, present, future
Amazing acceptance just as we are right now – without changing anything
The power and grace to change what needs to be changed
A guaranteed place in Heaven when we leave this life and enter the next life
A gift called eternal life – supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with God
See Him, Hear Him, Touch Him
- Past forgiven
- Purpose for living
- Place in heaven
Jesus accomplished all of this for each one of us and so much more
As we heard just now in His personal letter written in love to you
Jesus, your Lord and Saviour cares so much for you that He wrote more than a short letter
He wrote 66 different books so that you could come to know Him as He truly is
He is more than your Lord and Saviour – so much more
We need to come to know Him as the awe-inspiring, all-inclusive person He is
He is so much more than we grasp … He is:
- Your Shepherd
- Your Advocate
- Your Mediator
- Your Bridegroom
- Your Conqueror
- Your Lion of Judah
- Your Lamb
- Your sacrifice
- Your daily manna
- Your living water
- Your daily food
- Your dwelling place
- Your anchor
- Your wisdom
- Your peace
- Your comfort
- Your Healer
- Your joy
- Your glory
- Your power
- Your strength
- Your victory
- Your redemption
- Your Prophet
- Your priest
- Your Teacher
- Your guide
- Your apostle
- Your liberator
- Your deliverer
- Your Prince
- Your Captain
- Your vision
- Your Beloved
- Your way
- Your truth
- Your life
- Your author
- Your finisher
- Your beginning
- Your end
- Your all and all…
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Yet, He is new every morning
But, beyond all of this and even more, He is your King, your judge, and the True Witness
Today, many people lack a real revelation of Jesus Christ
They have settled for “another Jesus” and another “gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4)
A contemporary gospel that boils down to a fire-insurance policy
A get-out-of-jail card
We have weakened the gospel so much that it now reveals a Santa Claus God
We have lost the Christian faith and replaced it with another performance- based religion
And, as a result, we no longer see or comprehend the staggering enormity of our Lord Jesus!
Paul of Tarsus was a man who caught a glimpse of the excellencies of Jesus Christ
He preached such a high gospel that it turned illiterate, immoral pagans into full- fledged followers of Jesus who learned to live in authentic community – all in just a few months
We need to recover a sense of the greatness, supremacy, sovereignty, brilliance, and “all-ness” of Christ
The wonder of Jesus as “all in all” is the only hope for bringing life to a church that is currently on life support
We need to grab hold of Jesus not just as Lord and Saviour
But as the awe-inspiring, all-inclusive person He is
He is so, so, so much more than we currently grasp
And, He has accomplished and given to us so much more than we are currently walking in
He has expressed that today in His letter to you….
Let me read you His letter as it was originally written .. to a community of believers who lived in the city of Colossi … about the year 60 A.D.
Colossians 1:9 – 3:17
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.
I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world—the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth.
This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.
I want you to realize that I continue to work as hard as I know how for you, and also for the Christians over at Laodicea. Not many of you have met me face-to-face, but that doesn’t make any difference. Know that I’m on your side, right alongside you. You’re not in this alone.
I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”
I’m a long way off, true, and you may never lay eyes on me, but believe me, I’m on your side, right beside you. I am delighted to hear of the careful and orderly ways you conduct your affairs, and impressed with the solid substance of your faith in Christ.
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.
Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s Cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.
Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
My prayer for you:
That just as this glorious One, Jesus the Christ, is my Pursuit, my Passion, and my Pleasure
May He be so to you also….
Father, I pray that each and every one of us will grasp and grab hold of the wonder and greatness of who Jesus is and all that He has accomplished by His death and resurrection …all that He has given to us because we believe in Him and follow Him. Amen!