Who is Jesus––really? Whether you love him or hate him, everyone has an answer for that question. A great teacher. A prophet. A healer. A wandering troublemaker. A divisive rabbi. All of these answers are true in one sense or another, but eventually we all have to take a side on the most controversial of Jesus’ names: Son of God. Is Jesus really God? Whatever your answer is, it’s time to take a second look at who or what reigns as Lord over your life…only when we allow Jesus to be God in our lives will we truly be free.
1. Turn your concern into action
- Paul’s concern to help beginning followers of Jesus grow to maturity drove him to write this letter to the Colossians (and his epistles to other churches too). Paul never let worrying lead to more worrying. Instead, he let his concerns lead him to action. When something grips our hearts, our immediate question should be, “How can I get involved?” This is a pattern we see throughout powerful ministry in the Scriptures.
- As followers of Jesus, we need to stay connected 7 days a week because life can change in a moment. Part of our identity in Jesus as individuals is to take action to care for our corporate body.
- A good place to start is whatever is breaking your heart––it’s probably breaking God’s too. AS we draw closer to God, we are able to lift our gaze about our own concerns and God invites us into his concerns. As we let our heart break for what breaks his heart, we become more like him.
What concerns weigh heaviest on your heart right now? How is God inviting you to take action in that realm of his creation?
2. Learn from the verbs
- The verbs in these verses show us how to grow in Jesus, and they denote an active, ever-blossoming faith, not a passive one. If we move our concern into action, there’s a standard for how we need to live. The verbs in these verses show us what a beautiful, solid faith in Jesus look like, both as individuals and as the universal church.
- It’s true for what we eat and for our spiritual lives: you put garbage in, you get garbage out. If we model our life based on what the world says, our lives will take on the chaotic nature of the world. We need to be rooted in Jesus.
- As we are rooted and established in Jesus, we gain strength and overflow in thankfulness. When we surround ourselves with the character of Jesus by reading the gospels, worshiping him, and growing in community, our words and actions are going to start sounding more like our Savior.
Are you actively pursuing depth with Jesus? Where do you need to “take in” less garbage so that you can get rooted in Christ?
3. Jesus is fully God
- In every single generation, there are things that seek to detract from who Jesus really is. The Colossians were surrounded by people who doubted Jesus was fully God. In response to their situation, Paul wrote them a letter rich with the truth of who Jesus is.
- Although we perhaps don’t see this heresy as blatantly today, we do see it more subversively. We see it all the time, in fact. It happens anytime we put something in our right hand of strength other than the Bible. Politics, sexuality, our preferences in any realm of life––if any of those things become our lens through which we see the world, we will misunderstand Jesus, and we will get everything else wrong as a result.
- The answer for us today is the same as it was for the Colossians. We need to gain a rich and full understanding of who Jesus is. If we have that, we will be able to recognize the lies of the enemy and live lives that reflect the grace and goodness of God.
Reflect on your sources of wisdom and knowledge right now. What or who do you rely on? Is there anything you’ve allowed to take precedent over Jesus and his Word in your life? How do you need to give ground in your life back to God?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?