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Jesus is ALL | Colossians

#storychanging

Jesus is ALL | Colossians

Mondaywe give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (v.3)

“Jesus Christ, like Plato, was a good moral teacher. He came to show us how to treat each other.”

“Jesus was the ultimate human, modeling morality for us. We should all seek to live with the Christ consciousness.”

“Jesus Christ is a social myth, created by zealots in the first century as an emotional escape from governmental tyranny.”

Before we begin a discussion about Jesus, we need to be certain of who He is. If He fits any of those descriptions, we should close churches, fire the staff, and sleep in on Sundays. According to a recent Barna poll, 43% of American adults believe Jesus sinned. Another 16% don’t know or care. Wouldn’t it be wrong to worship a sinful Jesus that was only a good moral teacher? Why would we want a “consciousness” from an imposter like that? While 71% of American adults claim to be “Christian,” only 6% have a biblical worldview. It was worse in the first century. So Paul made it clear who Jesus is: the only begotten Son of Almighty God (John 10:30). Even the demons know His identity (Matt. 8:29). Jesus had a human mother but no human father. God was His Father, and what we believe about that is the difference between heaven and hell.

Final Thought:  Who do you believe Jesus to be? Your answer determines your eternity.

Prayer: Jesus, you once asked your disciples who they said that you were. Peter’s answer is my answer: “You are the Christ, Son of the living God.” Only the Son of God could pay for my sin because no one else is perfect enough. Thank you. Amen.  

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Tuesday Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created… (v.15)

Muslims call Him a prophet like Mohammed. Jehovah’s Witnesses call Him a created being like Michael the archangel. And Buddhists call Him an enlightened man. Does it matter what we call Jesus as long as we respect His contributions to the world? Yes it does, because claiming to be God is pretty serious. Why would we revere a guy who claimed to be God unless he really was? Why would we respect the teachings of a man who said things like, “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” (John 16:28). Plenty of nuts have claimed divinity, but we don’t worship them or value their teaching. We usually confine them to mental institutions. Why is Jesus different?

Jesus claimed He was God come to earth in human skin. That is either an outlandish lie, or it is completely true. There is no   in-between. There’s no room for the prophet idea or the Christ consciousness (whatever that is). We can’t pick and choose what Jesus said and did. If He actually existed, then we don’t get to recreate Him to fit our sensitivities. That makes as much sense as recreating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a white housewife who supported slavery. We either take Jesus for who He claimed to be or we reject Him entirely. Anything between is lunacy. God invites us to know what He’s like by getting to know His Son. We can’t see, hear, or feel God, but we can watch Jesus. God the Father declared Jesus to be “my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). If a King says, “This is my son. Listen to Him,” we should take His word for it.

Final Thought:  If we want to know what God is like, we can look at Jesus (John 14:9).

Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you that because of your Son Jesus, I can call you that. He is your only non-created Son. He is in you and you in Him, unlike the way you are in me. I’m not God, but He is. Thank you for sending Him. In His name, amen.

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Wednesday For by him all things were created…all things were created through him and for him (V.16).

“I don’t know why I’m even here,” moaned Chloe. “Nothing ever goes right and sometimes I just want to end it all.” Evan sighed. “I know what you mean. Sometimes I look up at the stars and wonder if I have any purpose at all. Are we only on this planet to work, eat, sleep, and finally die? What’s it all about?” Chloe gazed at the night sky. “Yeah. What’s it all about? Why are we here? I feel so insignificant. My mom says we’re here for other people, but that can’t be right because what are the other people here for? Jen says we’ve been reincarnated, and Mark says we have no purpose. I just don’t know.”

Have you wrestled with questions like that? What ARE you here for? Is life nothing but a hamster wheel you can’t escape? Are you only here for other people, as Chloe’s mom says? What difference would it make in your life and choices if you knew exactly why you are on this earth, if you could look up at the starry sky and smile because you know your purpose? You CAN!

Take another look at this verse. Notice the word “for.” That’s purpose. God is saying that through Jesus, He created everything, visible and invisible. And He did it FOR Jesus. You were created FOR Jesus. You are God’s gift to His Son. Of all the fantastical gifts God could have offered His Son, He created YOU as the ultimate gift. That means your purpose on earth is to make God glad He did that. When we learn to know and love Him, we want to obey and serve Him. We don’t have to. We have a choice. So when we willingly CHOOSE Jesus as our Lord, we bring Him the ultimate pleasure. And that is the purpose of life: to bring pleasure to Jesus by choosing Him over Satan—with every word, every action, and every thought. You’re a gift.

Final Thought:  You have purpose because you were created as God’s gift to His beloved Son.

Prayer: Father, I never imagined myself as a gift created especially for Jesus! That is a game-changer. That knowledge will affect every decision I make. Instead of “What do I want?” I will ask, “What do YOU want?” Help me live as a good gift. Amen.

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Thursday Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body… He is first in everything. Colossians 1:18

“Well, that’s my religion and I’m sticking to it,” Dana announced with a decisive chin bob. Kade frowned. “But don’t you care that some of your beliefs are not in the Bible?” Dana shook her head. “My grandma took me to her church and that’s what they taught, so it’s good enough for me.” Kade tried one more time. “But, Dana, it’s not your grandma’s church or that pastor’s church. It’s Jesus’ church and shouldn’t He be the final authority on what you believe?” Dana stood up. “I’m done talking about this. At my church, we affirm everybody’s beliefs. We’re tolerant, like Jesus was. That’s why I like it.”

Have you tried talking to someone like Dana? Maybe you ARE Dana and you don’t see a problem with her logic. She’d be right if they were discussing carpet colors or soft vs. hard chairs. But when it comes to core spiritual beliefs, there is only one point of view that matters. People can attend What-A-Burger Church if they want; a name doesn’t make it a church. The REAL church belongs to Jesus. He’s the head. The undisputed Boss. He’s the whole reason we meet together, sing, tithe, serve… Otherwise, why do it? It doesn’t matter what religion we defend. If Jesus is not in charge, it’s not a church.

Final Thought: A pastor is not the head of a church; Jesus is. If a pastor does not agree with that, he’s not a real pastor.

Prayer: Father, I get sidetracked by my own opinions and angry when they’re not validated. Help me remember that none of us is the head of your church. Only YOU are. When we seek your will, we all win. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Friday We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone… so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (v. 28).

  • “That preacher hurt my feelings. He should stick to love and grace and not mess with my sex life.”
  • “I quit going to church. It was too judgmental. Every Sunday, ‘Repent, repent, repent.’ I got tired of it.”
  • “I tried counseling, but all Pastor did was talk about things I needed to change. He never talked about my wife.”

What is the goal of Christ’s church? To make us all feel better about ourselves? To satisfy our weekly spiritual requirements? To babysit our kids while we get an hour of peace? Paul gives us the answer in verse 18. The goal of the church is to proclaim Christ, to teach truths, and to correct sinful behaviors so that everyone can grow up into spiritual maturity. That should be the goal of every local body, every ministry, every life group, every member. There are a thousand ways we contribute to that goal, and a million ways we miss the mark. Countless so-called churches are sliding from that goal into people-pleasing, feel-good services that ensure crowds but miss truth. But if we keep this verse as our theme, we’ll produce mature disciples of Christ.

Final Thought:  This verse should be the life goal of every Christian. Are you aiming for that goal?

Prayer: Father, it’s time I restructured my life’s aim to one that bears lasting fruit. Help me grow up myself so I can lead others there. Keep me humble enough to change when it’s pointed out so that I too will be mature in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.