Don’t Take Your Eyes Off This!
Today I was reading in the book of Colossians and was once again struck by the most elemental, and yet crucial, foundations of our faith in Jesus. Colossians 1:1-2 says:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
It’s easy for us to glance over those verses to get to the “meat” of the letter and miss the amazing message they contain. In fact, it is such an important message that Paul includes it in EVERY letter that he wrote in the NT. (For all of the theology majors – I know Hebrews doesn’t include this salutation, but Pauline authorship of Hebrews is still debated.) What is the message you ask? It’s that grace and peace has been extended to us from God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ! I want to encourage you: Please don’t take your eyes off of this fact!
Grace is God’s unmerited favor or unconditional goodwill toward mankind! It means we did nothing to deserve His love or all of the kindness He has shown us. He just chose to give it to us unwarranted and undeserved! The Bible even tells us that we were still dead in our sins when Jesus died for us. (Ephesians 2:4,5) That even while we were still sinners, the only One without sin died that we could be reconciled (here’s where the 2nd part, peace, come in) to God! (Romans 5:8) As Christians, hearing that should NEVER get old!
The peace of God refers to our reconciliation to himself as well as to each other. It is peace that cannot be enjoyed apart from fellowship with Jesus. Jesus is our peace. He has bridged the gap that sin created between God and us. He also bridges the gap between us and others as He floods our lives with His love! God’s peace is a distinct treasure that only belongs to followers of Jesus. This does not make us an exclusive club. However, it should make us the light of the world that causes others to want to be included!
It is God’s love that we experience through the power of the Holy Spirit that draws us to Him and away from our old life with it’s destructive patterns and ways. The gospel is not preached if repentance is not preached. Following Jesus includes us turning from our old patterns of life (Colossians 3:1-17). In light of God’s grace and peace that has been extended to us, is not turning away from our old life to His new offer of life even an option? It seems to be the only reasonable thing we can do! (Romans 12:1)
I want to ask you, right now, to take a minute, two minutes, ten minutes…how ever long it takes to pause and let this reality sink in . . . God LOVES you! His love is not able to be earned! It is not able to be lost! IT JUST IS!
Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! (For some reason it sounds kinda cheesy when I write it!)
I love you guys!
Heart and Soul!!