Going Forward Together: Day 1

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness (Colossians 2:6-7, NIV).”

In his story, Dr. Matthew Henry, a great Bible commentator, talked about his experience of being robbed while walking along a highway. He told his friends that afterwards, he was thankful for four things. First, it was the first time he was being robbed after living for so many years and he felt grateful for that. Second, he said, “Though they took all my money, I am glad they did not get very much.” That was something to be thankful for. Third, he said, “Though they took my money, they did not take my life, and I am grateful for that.” Finally, he said, “I am thankful that it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”

This is an example of a man who had learned how to be “overflowing with thankfulness!” Our reaction? I am sure that we would find all the reasons to be mad or complain about the situation.

The Bible says, “Continue to live in Him” meaning to “Obey Him, follow Him, converse with Him, draw upon His grace, lean on Him, look to Him for comfort.” Becoming a follower of Christ is a lot like falling in love. You are full of joy; you are guilt free and you are at peace with God. He gives you His hope of eternal life. You are a brand-new creation in Christ and it feels wonderful, kind of like falling in love. However, those wonderful feelings will not automatically last. Trials and disappointments will come. You may suffer health problems. You pray for something, but God does not answer. Doubts will creep in. Old friends cut you off and ridicule your faith. How do you go on with Christ over the long haul and sustain that first love for Him?

Sadly, some do not go on. They grow bitter at God because of their trials. Some fall prey to false teachers, who offer them health and prosperity if they just have enough faith. Others settle in for routine Christianity, like a routine marriage, where they go through the motions, but they do not enjoy the love of Jesus. They fill the void by collecting more things that promise to make them happy.

Paul gives us a simple, but not simplistic, answer: We go on with Christ in the same way we received Him. We go on walking with Him as Christ Jesus the Lord: Colossians 2:6; “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him (ESV)”. Walk is in the present tense, indicating an ongoing process. It is a frequent word for describing the Christian life (Ephesians 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15).

Walking is not as impressive or quick as running, or flying. However, if you keep walking in a deliberate direction, eventually you will get there. It implies a daily, steady, systematic effort and progress toward a goal. We are to walk “in Him,” that is, in all that Jesus is for us as we are in Him.

Prayer Target

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jeremiah 33:3, KJV)”

• Pray for yourself and our church family that we will faithfully call upon the Lord.

• Pray for yourself and our church family that we will not let this call to pray cease.

• Pray that we will learn to call upon the Lord, whether it is early in the morning or in the middle of the night.

• Pray that we call upon God in our time of need and that we will call upon God simply to praise Him.

• Pray that we will pray individually and corporately.

• Pray that prayer will become a vital part of all we say and do.

Posted in Prayer & Fasting Week.