I read something interesting this morning and the question went something like this, what would your life be entitled? For me, I think more in chapters and then pages, not always life as a whole to be captured in a title. This made me stop and think what that would be and also led to the reading of the book of Colossians. I think what I want my life to be known for and what often plays out, contradict one another. Do you have this same struggle? Do you walk away replaying events or conversations and wish you could go back and clarify, add to or subtract words and actions? The continuous thought that seems to plague me is that I made much of self instead of Him. My hearts desire is to bring Him glory not me, but I often fail.
Another question presented itself in my reading. What gospel does your life preach? What I pray overshadows all my daily failings is this, “…He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14). Does my family see a mom who lives the gospel of freedom because I have been completely forgiven? Do they see a mom who is truly alive? One who knows that I am chosen, holy, dearly loved, compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient? I took this list from Colossians 3:12-14 by the way. On the flip side, what would the opposite look like? A few words come to mind like desperate for significance, worldly, lover of self, unkind, prideful, abrasive, impatient and lacking compassion. This sounds like pages taken straight out of my high school days. However, I now see words like FORGIVEN, GRACE and MERCY stamped in red across each and every page.
The only way to now live truly alive is by faith. I trust that what God has written about us is true. When I read, “For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:9), I am reminded who and what live inside of me. Also, look at this verse, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7). The very nature of God, made possible to us by Christ’s death and resurrection, is given to us and is called the Holy Spirit. It is this Spirit that is the source of our power. It is this power that brings us to life. Anything short of this is manmade and will not last. Trust me, I have tried.
If all of this seems like I am repeating myself, well I am. Just like I have to wake my kids up sometimes for school or church, I feel like many of us have been living kind of asleep. When we forget the power that lives inside of us and what was the cost, we begin to drift. A long winters nap might work for a bear, but not for believers in Christ. We are ALIVE and have power because of who our God is and what He has entrusted to each of us. Does this not feel you with hope?
This might sound a little too fairytale like or impossible. Read with me this verse, “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15). When I tell my children something or ask them to do something, they trust me. It may sound like I am asking them to do something hard or impossible. At times what I ask goes against what they want and we have a conflict. Other times I have to remind them of my love for them because they act like they have forgotten. Disobedience is such a red flag for forgetting you are loved. Sometimes we all need to be reminded.
Sometimes we need the reminder, “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.” (Colossians 3:13). What makes this possible for me is by taking a look at the cross. I have been forgiven much because I am loved much. With this in mind we are reminded to, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2). We are reminded that, “You serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:24). Knowing who we serve and where we focus our minds, we remind our hearts continually that, “…my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father, be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19). I am counting on His riches, not mine for this life and eternity.
May the living Christ, present in every believer, bring our God glory today as we live out a page or two of our book. This makes me think of my book title! I will entitle it simply Glory. That sounds just about perfect to me.