January 6, 2023

Colossians 1:24-29 (HCSB)
Paul’s Ministry

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body, that is, the church. 25 I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

Kim Ivey
Paul knew that leading only Jews to Christ wasn’t enough. He desired to “make God’s message fully known” by sharing with Gentiles. However, Paul did not focus only on evangelism; he also worked to maintain the integrity of the Gospel in the church. Sharing Christ is vital. It’s something we’ve all been called to do. We can’t stop there, though. As Christians we have a responsibility to know Him more, and to know His word. I said yesterday that I was 8 years old when I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. That would be about 1988. I am ashamed to say, though, that I did not develop a consistent daily habit of prayer and Bible reading until 2015-2016. That’s almost 30 years of being a Christian that I just “played church.” During that time, I taught teenage girls Sunday School classes, served faithfully in church choirs, and was even a preacher’s wife. All that time, I was living in sin because I was neglecting my relationship with God and not maturing in Him, effectively telling Jesus that His sacrifice was not worth my time. I wasn’t trying to avoid God, I just thought I was too busy and didn’t have time for any meaningful prayer or study. Then I heard a well-known speaker say something like, “If you’re waiting until you have time to fit God into your schedule, it’s never going to happen. You’ve got it backwards. You need to be building your schedule around God.” The next morning, I got up an hour earlier and sat down with God. Now that I’m actively pursuing a mature relationship with Christ, I have a strong desire to see other Christians doing so as well. I have a strong desire to learn from other strong Christians who are pursuing maturity in Christ. That is how we maintain the integrity of the Gospel. Not by listening to society and striving to “coexist” with everyone around us. Paul was passionate about “warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom.” Read his letters, inspired by God and full of instruction, of wisdom, of rebuke, of encouragement.

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