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Colossians 1:15-2:5 (ESV)
The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul’s Ministry to the Church
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. 2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
How much do you still identify with verse 21 even at this point in your life?
You are the God of all creation on the earth in all the heavens since the very beginning and for all eternity. You are almighty and holy and perfect. Sin came into this world to wreck the perfect relationship with You and put a death sentence on us and all of creation. I am among the guilty. But through Your blood shed on the cross, You reconciled me to God and set me free from the bondage of sin. I am now holy in God’s sight without blemish and free from accusation. This is the gospel for which I give thanks. Jesus, You are the key to my spiritual maturity. Lord let me grow and mature in my relationship with You. Help me to prioritize the things in life that feed knowledge and intimacy with You such as worship, prayer and bible reading. Lord, You are the head of the church. Help me to be the church in You. Help me to be concerned for others who do not know You. Give me the privilege to proclaim the gospel to replace the emptiness in people’s hearts that can only be filled by You. Then together, help Your church support each other in times of need. Help each of us stay deeply rooted and firm in our faith. Lord give us Your strength to not give up the hope we received when we heard about Your grace, love, and forgiveness on the cross for us. Thank you that I have found the meaning of life in You. Thank You that You came to live in me by Your Spirit. Mature my faith and make my life a living testimony of my love for You until You call me home to live with You for eternity. Amen.