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Colossians 1:24-2:3 (NIV)
Paul’s Labor for the Church
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. 2 1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
In Matthew 10:25, Jesus said that God has “hidden these things from the wise and understanding”. In his letter to the Christians in Colossae, Paul says that the hidden mystery of God is… Jesus! But this is difficult for us to understand because much of our life is built on proving our worth and earning rewards. It starts in school with the grading system and Santa Claus and goes through adulthood with raises and promotions or whether we are accepted into certain social clubs. We carry that mentality over to our spirituality, thinking we need to earn God’s favor. But Jesus, the hidden mystery of God, is the revelation that God’s love is not for sale and cannot be earned. It is a free gift bought by Jesus on the cross. Whether you are struggling with feelings of guilt, shame, and failure or riding high with recent success and accomplishment, let us rest in God’s grace and focus most of all on the success of Jesus, the mystery of God, who gives us eternal life.