Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Sum of Hope

“And whatever you do, in word and deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Colossians 3:12-17 may be the New Testament’s clearest expression of what the Christian life is all about.

Verses 12-14 read, “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must [forgive]. Above all, [put on] love – the perfect bond of unity.” If you take a step back and view the larger picture of what is stated in these verses, you see that the common thread that ties all these words together is the word “relationship.” The Christian life is to focus on building right, positive, and redemptive relationships in the body of Christ.

Verse 15 reads, “And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.” The Christian life is also to focus on the “shalom” of God as the controlling force of the heart. We have this peace of God as the result of receiving the grace of God through a faith commitment.

Verse 16 reads, “Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.” That pretty much describes worship, right? The Christian life is to focus on worship both individually and particularly in the gathered Christian community.

So the Christian life of our calling is to be concentrated on building redemptive relationships, on living the “shalom” life, and on authentic worship. Then, verse 17 very much sums up this hope. Whatever we do, whether in word or in deed, we are to do everything in the way Jesus would, giving thanks to the Father through Him.

Lord, So help us to live this life each day. Amen.

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