Tuesday, March 4, 2008

From Christian-ese to Real Life

Colossians 2:6-10

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live 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)

I’m back from my sick-break, and I think it’s confession time. Sometimes, Paul says things that sound really good, but I’m not sure exactly what they mean. Take verses six and seven. I get the concepts, but how do these things play out in the real life of a Jesus Follower? How do I keep that from becoming just high-sounding Christian-ese?

Well, since I’m still feeling a little puny, I think I’ll give you the first shot this week and ask you some questions:

What does it mean, in practical ways to “live in Him”?

How do you develop strong roots in Him? How does “the faith you were taught” play into that? What does it take in addition to just acquiring Bible knowledge?

Do you have as much trouble as I do “overflowing with thankfulness”? How do you manage to be mega-thankful when things aren’t going well?

Okay, pick your favorite questions and go for it. And since I did a whole sermon Sunday on verse 8, feel free to bring that into the discussion as well. (The message is online at www.spoutspringschurch.com/teach.htm.)


richie_rich_28 said...

I don't think it's christian-ese at all. Paul is telling them to remember what Jesus did for all of us and be thankful that no matter how bad we feel physically or emotionally it could never come close to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us to be free. That freedom alone keeps me "overflowing with thankfulness". As far as staying strengthened in the faith you were taught, I believe Pastor Steve said Sunday that early Christians were starting to have a distorted view of Jesus because, of a worldly thought process. Paul is simply reminding us of the Jesus we get know from the word of God. So to me it's simple...

Remember how Jesus changed your life, continue to grow with the new thought process and way of life, STAY FOCUSED, and be thankful.

Have great week,

Rich Mustard

Careythemom said...

For me, remembering to be thankful when things are lousy goes back to remembering other lousy times in our life and focusing on what the Lord brought out of it-personal growth, stuff we couldn't have learned another way, sin patterns He helped us overcome because of the crummy stuff we dealt with.

The root of a plant digs deeper into the soil the harder it has to search for water and nutrients. So, if God wanted us to be shallow Christians, He would baby us and water us all the time so that our roots would always lay near the surface because we never had to reach for the nutrients. The tough times help us to dig deep and that digging roots us deeper and deeper in Christ (if we let it) as we appreciate all the times of our life for what God wanted us to learn from it.

Corrie Ten Boom could thank God for fleas in her bunk (can you even begin to imagine the nightly terror?!?) because it kept the prison guards away so that they could conduct their Bible Studies undisturbed.

I find that it is almost easier to thank God when times are really tough because I "know" it HAS to be for a "reason" and it makes me look for it, than it is to be patient in the petty annoyances of just living- unrolled rolls of toilet paper (all over the house)... dirty laundry on the stairs, bathroom floor, my bedroom floor, even my car AFTER I already did all the laundry...dirty dishes in all of the above places...you get the picture. None of that seems "spiritual" or growth building, but apparently it is because God keeps testing me with it! Carey

Joshua said...

Well in verse 6 Paul reminds them of their salvation and of the basis of how they received it. So to walk with Him refers to their behavior and thinking. It should all be in the sphere of Christ and built on the foundation that was laid by the Cross. The main focus of our salvation the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any other "focus" is of manly things not Godly. Which could easily distract even the most seasoned Christian. How do we as followers avoid this? We spend time with God everyday. I personally thank God everyday for trials and mishaps and I thank Him for all He has already done and given to me and my family It reminds me how imperfect I am and how perfect He really is. Even when trouble arrives I used to stumble a little take a step back and evaluate the situation. Now I hold my rank in faith and just step forward. Is it hard to ignore the surrounding tribulations and strive for Jesus like behavior, yes more than I would like to admit. To give what you don't think you have to look outward instead of inward. But if I choose to walk with Jesus this huge problem I am in would only seem like a uncomfortable mosquito bite. Moreover, if I don't "focus" on the bite it will stop itching and bothering me. What did I learn from the problems and tribulations I am constantly confronted with. Jesus is my Bug Repellent and the more I am like Him the more I will stay away from the woods where the bug reside. For Jesus was tested for 40 days and did not flaw in any way. I will flaw and I will stumble and I will forget to put on my OFF but as soon as I get bit I know where to go for forgiveness and peace. My personal savior Jesus Christ. Well, I got on a little rant there but that is what it says to me.

In verse 7 I agree with Carie on the rooting but we have to remember that without a good foundation in Christ our roots may never reach their potential. As the Colossians had problems with false teachings (Gnostic's) so do we from familiar people like Oprah Winfrey of even certain Democratic elects. It is easy to get sidetracked if the basis of you faith is not on the Word. Remember it is of Godly things we most focus on, not manly. Satan is of manly things and he knows what trips us up and puts those road blocks up. But remember the Lord will only test you with what you can handle. So if you get in a sticky spot no matter how deep you are in it, put you faith and love in God and by His Almighty grace and power we can get through or achieve anything and everything. Remember faith is trusting in something we cannot see or touch, smell or taste, but we can can feel it and feel the Holy Spirit working in and through us. And that is an untold benifit feeling God work through you. well I think I will stop boring you guys.