Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Colossians 2:6-23

Religion vs. Relationship.

I love this passage. Paul really gets in your face, emphasizing the importance of not letting anyone lure you away from relationship with Jesus over the religion of Christianity.

We have all come in contact with religion. Whether we've had personal experiences in a church, watched people in our lives live out their religion, or witnessed it on TV, we know what religion looks like. It is full of rules and regulations. "Do not's" and "Thou shalts". Restricting and condemning. Off putting and something you avoid.

Relationship with Jesus is completely different, though! It is full of freedom, love and grace. When you are in a relationship with Jesus, you long to linger with Him. To spend time with Him in His Word and through prayer. And your life is different. You are different! People gravitate toward you because they want the joy and perspective you have on life because of Jesus.

Colossians 2:6-7 says "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."

If we are to "walk in him" as that verse says, we must spend time with Him and hide His words deep within our hearts. We must listen closely to His voice, quiet ourselves throughout the day in order to hear His leading. We must love!

John 13:35 says "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Have you been lured away by religion? Do you avoid Jesus because you think He is out to get you?

Can I invite you today to a relationship with Jesus?! He is love. He is grace. He is truth. He is everything religion is not!! Turn to Him today!

colossians 2:6-7 love grace and hope

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Colossians 1:24-2:5

I don't know about you, but sometimes I forget that I am called to share Jesus with others. That it is my calling, not just the "job" of my pastor or church. Whether you are a stay at home mom or you are climbing the corporate ladder, we all have the responsibility to share Jesus with others.
Paul says in Colossians 1:25 "of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known"
In the past, I've skimmed past this verse, assuming it didn't apply to me since I'm a stay at home momma. Paul was a full time minister, so surely that verse only applies to those in full time ministry, right?!
The Lord has really opened my eyes to the "mission field" all around me. He's shown me people He's entrusted me with {my children} or people I come in contact with throughout the day, that I am to share Him with.
That could be through a simple smile or act of kindness or something as big as a personal conversation with somebody about their relationship {or lack of} with Jesus.
As I continue to "do life", experiencing highs and lows, I'm understanding more and more that we don't go through things only for ourselves.
Every person has a story, some more intense than others, but we all have a story. And those stories are meant to be shared with others. To encourage one another in their faith in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
Proverbs 27:17 says "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."

Colossians 2:2 says "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ"

No matter where you are at today, you have the chance {and responsibility} to share Jesus with others. Through your life story, you have the ability to reach others that perhaps your pastor or church never will.

Who needs to experience the love of Jesus today? Who can you share your story with today?

colossians 2:2


Monday, March 2, 2015

Colossians 1: 15-23

Sometimes we need to be reminded who exactly God is and why we put our faith and trust in Him? Just like the Pharisees did in Bible times, we put so much pressure on ourselves to "do this, not that", that following Jesus can become a list of rules. It turns into religion, not a relationship.
This passage of Scripture reminds us that Jesus is everything and from Him, everything was made. Jesus is all we need. He gave His life for our sins so that we might have a relationship with Him.
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him." Colossians 1:16
Because of His gift on the cross, we have been reconciled to God and have the privilege of having an intimate, personal relationship with Him. (If this is something you're not sure you have, please let me know!) This reality is truly amazing and sometimes hard to grasp.
Colossians 1:21-22 "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him."
Although I believe we can never lose our salvation {John 10:28-29} I think it's important for us to slow down, spend time with Jesus and ask Him to show us what we've put before Him. What sin we have in our life. That way, we can remove it and repent and once again be in right relationship with Him.
Wherever you find yourself today, I hope you know and understand that Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. And that there is nothing extra you need to do to enjoy that relationship. Repent and accept.
colossians 1:16 love grace hope