Hi there. It’s me again. I have to be honest with you. I really thought I wouldn’t post anything this month. Sometimes living in a city like Bangalore, life can get demanding. However, God is faithful and he speaks. In this blog, I present a simple reminder about being a follower of Jesus.
Don’t get too offended with the title of this blog though, trust me it’s from an honest heart. So let’s get right to it.
I’d like to start with an illustration…
Pretended like it never happened?
Have you ever experienced something in your life that really happened but pretended to live like it hadn’t? For example, I’m reminded of this one time when me and my twin brothers were very young. We used to fight a lot, sometimes we would get physical as well. This one time my parents were out and as you can imagine with three boys home alone, anything can happen. I remember this one time we got into a full-on brawl. Oh yeah, there were some punches and wrestling moves flying about. Don’t worry, no individual was harmed in this incident. Just the usual sibling rivalry.
The house we lived in had this gate at the entrance that would make quite the noise if anyone touched it. When my parents were back, we heard the gate. Before you know it, the three of us in perfect unison suddenly stopped and went our way. My mother comes back without having a clue of what happened.
How many of you can relate to this? We experience something in our lives but pretend like it never happened.
I want to use this personal anecdote to paint a picture. The picture of our possible state as a follower of Jesus. Sometimes, even after years of being in the faith, we can pretend to live our lives like we didn’t know Him. We all have our seasons, but this? Yeah, it can happen. Some of us get busy, sometimes we just don’t care. When circumstances or situations happen, we can forget what’s it’s like to represent Jesus. In our colleges or workplaces, we can get overwhelmed by the environment that we just don’t know what it’s like to be the salt and light.
Well, there is this one verse that spoke to me so strongly. Just goes to show how one verse can speak volumes.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
— Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
The church in Colossae was facing a lot of cultural pressures that were tempting them to turn away from Jesus. Paul heard about this when he was in prison and writes this letter to encourage the believers. You will find a lot of similarities between the Colossians and the world we live in today. We too face pressures in our post-modern world in some way or the other. He then drops this verse in chapter 3. This one verse was a timely reminder and encouragement to me. I’d like to share some observations and draw from it…
The Message of Christ
The verse starts with “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly”, which tells me about the importance of God’s Word. The central theme to the Word is the Gospel Message. I had mentioned this earlier in my previous blog, Diamond in the Rough. But to some of us, the Message of Christ, the Gospel, the GOOD NEWS itself can become old news. But I’d like to remind us today that in the gospel is the greatest story written about a God that became a man and died for us. Not just any death, he died a brutal death on the Cross to change our destiny. You see, sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the depth of what Jesus did for us. Paul writes that there has to be a rich deposit of this message in our spirit. For anything to become rich, there has to be an investment. What better investment to make than in Jesus?
“The Greatest investment you can make is in the person of Jesus Christ!”
I’m reminded of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:17-19 that we may be rooted in the Love of Christ. That we would grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. And we may be filled in the fullness of God. I pray that our hearts would resonate with Christ’s message in our hearts. No matter what comes our way, this message would be rooted in our hearts.
Commune & Communicate
Picking up from the next part of the verse – “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit”. This tells me the importance of community, God’s body. We need each other to remind each one of us of this great message we share together. We need the Church. Let’s not pretend to live our lives alone in the Faith. This message that we all have, let it be a reminder not only for ourselves but also to our fellow brothers and sisters. May this be our heart in God’s body.
“There is Purpose in TOGETHER!”
And you know what, it’s exactly what the early church did as well. They were together, sharing all things (Acts 2:42,44). We come to church, Sunday after Sunday, listening to the word, singing and worship. But at times, this can become mundane. I truly believe there is power when we come together. Let’s remind ourselves about the importance of doing our faith together. Even if it is a small setting, let us remember the importance of what we’re doing.
The last part of the verse – “singing to God with gratitude in your hearts”. The only thing we can give God is our worship and adoration. This must be our response. We are all broken, sinful people made perfect in Christ Jesus. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed with life. We all go through seasons. We all get busy, tired, and weary. I am encouraged by the response of the Psalmist. Even when he was downcast, he resolved in his heart to Praise God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
— Psalms 43:5 (NIV)
This blog is really simple reminder. Let’s not pretend to live our lives as though we are alienated from God. I pray that each of us would live our lives unto Christ for his Glory. In everything we do, let it resonate with a passion for Jesus.
I pray that our hearts would be aligned to this thought. If you have lost track somewhere along the way, I pray that we would get back to our first love, Jesus. There’s this song we used to sing when I was young, an apt prayer to make as I end this blog…
Change My Heart Oh God
Make It Ever True
Change My Heart Oh God
May I Be Like You
You are the potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
This is what I pray
I hope you’ve been encouraged with this short read. Do write your thoughts in the comments below. Feel free to share this with friends and family.
Check out my other blogs on the PivotPost page.
– Sam D. Mathews