Colossians – Because of Christ
Paul is sitting in jail, suffering for Christ, in Christ and because of the message of Christ. He is okay with this, for this suffering does not compare with what Jesus Christ did for him.
Pastors who are passionate about preaching Christ today suffer in different ways, and it is distracting to The Message of Christ and His salvation. We are approaching Easter and all that goes with that. Many churches are putting the final touches on the music, perfecting every note, going over all the details of an egg hunt, or other children’s activities, and are making sure the ushers and greeters know what to do with the extra people who may come because…it is Easter. Where is the suffering, you ask?
The pastor, because of Easter week, has extra sermons to prepare, orchestrates all the above activities, making sure the people in his care get along…and many won’t, for this is the devil’s playground…given more opportunities to hinder and distract everyone from…preaching Christ, living transformed by Him and helping others to do the same. Traditions become more important than the goal of preaching Christ. Everyone suffers when distracted…mostly the pastor.
Pray for your pastor and other church leaders to stay focused and rested, pacing themselves in the ultimate goal to preach Christ in ways that help others know Him more, believe and be saved from this world’s darkness by being transformed by Christ.
Colossians 1, The Message
24-25 I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world—the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth.
26-29 This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.
What do we learn?
–Don’t add traditions or anything else to the message.
–Keep it simple.
Dear Heavenly Father, We pray for our pastors everywhere who are gearing up to preach Your Message of salvation and transformation. Help us to come alongside and be helpful to them and not be a hinderance. Help us to love each other even more and look beyond ourselves and our traditions, to those in need of a Savior. Give us the generosity of Your Holy Spirit to share what is flowing and bubbling from inside us because of YOU living in us. Christ in us! Wow, help us preach You with all we’ve got!
In Jesus Name, because of Him, Amen! I believe!