Monday, May 20, 2013

Big Words for a Small Town

Recent Photo of Landscape Near Ancient Colossae
Map with Ancient Town of Colossae
We started a message series yesterday at Crossroads, a series based on the book of Colossians.  Colossians is a spiritual letter written to Christians living in a small town in what was then part of the Roman Empire.  The town, Colossae, had been a town of some significance, but by the time the Biblical letter of Colossians was written, the town had shrunk, it's position of local influence having been taken over by nearby Laodicea.  All that remains today is a mound of earth.  The ruins of ancient Colossae lie beneath.  No one has ever dug in the mound to discover what might still be there. 1 ,2

But the letter to the Colossians, a letter straight from the heart of God via the Apostle Paul and his apprentice Timothy--that letter is packed with big words.  Big and powerful words, words intended to light the Colossian church on fire.

Here are some of the things Paul writes to the Colossians:
  • We have heard of your faith in Christ and the love you have for all of God's holy people.
  • The gospel is bearing fruit and growing all over the world just as it has been doing among you!
  • We have not stopped praying for you, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  • We pray this so you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power.
All of those sentiments are found in just eight verses of this 95 verse letter.  There is so much more.  We could easily go on. 

The simple point that I see in this, the simple point that we'll be highlighting in various ways this summer, is that we always should resist the temptation to think that our lives are of no importance.  We should always remember that what you or I do, in whatever small part of the world we live in, is a lot more important to God than we might imagine at first.  Our words, our actions, our time with the Lord, our study of God's Word--all of it matters--it matters enough for the Lord to inspire a book of the Bible that is described like this:
God gave us in Paul's Letter to the Colossians a proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ in unparalleled fulness and depth... The apostles of Jesus are witnesses to Him witnesses to Him who has all authority in heaven and on earth... At the time of the church's need the Holy Spirit opened up to Paul dimensions of the glory of Christ which the new people of God had not apprehended so fully before...3
What all of this means we will see as we proceed through the summer.  The reason, however, that our lives are significant is not dependent on our position in life!  Instead, our lives are important because of the one who we are connected with: Jesus--the anointed Lord of heaven and earth.  All that we do, all that we say, all that we are makes a difference because we represent our Lord.

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