Saturday, March 11, 2017

Day Eight - Fixing Our Minds on Christ

You know Christ. You know the truth. Why are you listening to and being persuaded by lies?

Thank you for joining us again today as we fix our minds on Christ.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person. I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery - Christ. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him. I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments. For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:1-7

First of all, if I had to paraphrase just this section of scripture I would paraphrase it like this:  

“You know Christ you know the truth. Why are you listening, why are you being influenced and pulled away by false teaching?”

Remember Paul was talking to the Church of Colossae because they were influenced by false teaching in their culture. He was writing to tell them that Christ is sufficient, Christ is enough, He’s the object of our focus and He is the truth.  In this particular passage, Paul’s message comes through once again as he essentially asks, “Why are you being led astray?” He says, “I want you to be established rooted and built up.”

Rooted and Built Up

Rooted and built up are two different aspects of our faith. First, we can be rooted in Christ. To me that is a picture of my personal time with Him where I am digging deep, I am setting my roots into Christ. I am pursuing Him, listening to Him. It involves all the things that go on in my personal life when I have devotions - when I spend time in His Word and I'm praying or fasting or worshiping. Those are times when I'm building my root system into Christ Jesus Himself.

Paul also encourages us to be built up in the faith. It means living it out, expressing it, and shining for Jesus, showing others the love of Christ, and making decisions based on a “ what would Jesus do?” mentality. I know that's cliché but when we have a worldview that puts Christ at the center, it impacts every single thing about our walk with Christ.

A Life Without Compartments

In our family we spent years and years compartmentalizing our lives. We would essentially communicate to the Lord by our actions: “We are growing in you, we're learning to love you word attending church. Lord, You can have most of our lives, but please don't touch or finances.” Or when I'm at work, “I can do this on my own I've got proper training, I know what I'm doing, I have years of experience and I really don't need You, God, in that environment.”

But when we have a worldview with Christ at the center, all of that changes. Christ begins to permeate every single area, every single section of our lives. Suddenly, the walls of our compartments come crashing down.

This is what we want: to be rooted and built up so that we are living out and portraying Jesus in everything.

Challenge #1

Follow instruction. Paul gives us many different instructions in this passage:  don't be deceived, stay well ordered, pursue a strong faith in Christ, walk in Christ - rooted and built up in him, established in the faith just as you were taught. And then, overflow with gratitude. Let Christ shine through you today.

Challenge #2

I want to encourage you that sometimes -  in fact, most of the time - we don't recognize when we're being pulled astray. So stay in prayer.  Our second challenge is to stay in prayer and ask the Lord to reveal to you any way that you are being pulled away from Him. Ask that He show you any little subtleties in your life, in your friends, if relationships, or anything that's influencing you right now and pulling you away from your worldview in Christ Jesus.

Be blessed today as you’re strengthened by the Word.  I’ll see you right back here tomorrow as we continue to fix our minds on Christ.

Cathy McIntosh is the author of Victorious: Finding Triumph When Hope Seems Lost. When you can’t see God’s activity in your situation, you might begin to feel hopeless. You’re tempted to doubt His care and involvement in your life because He feels so . . . absent. Victory feels elusive as if God intends it for everyone but you.

But God is never absent. He is as involved in your life today as He was when He protected Queen Esther and the entire Jewish nation from annihilation, and He will bring victory.  Click here to purchase.

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