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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Friday-Not Just Everyone

 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

 

Colossians 1:1,2[1]

 

Inclusion. It’s one of the many words today that come to the top of just about any and every discussion of modern-day life. You can’t exclude anyone. Everyone has to be counted in. Everybody needs to be part of the plan. If you’ve been part of the people in charge, then it’s hard to figure out what all this inclusion talk is all about. But if you’ve been on the outside, then you immediately get why it’s so important a topic.

 

By now, your mind is buzzing with examples where the idea of making everyone equal has come racing into that screen inside our heads. It’s more than just every kid getting a trophy just for showing it. It’s the idea that everyone should have open access for opportunity.

 

And God’s word certainly stands for treating everyone with dignity and respect. God himself gives value to every human being. Being made in the image of God gives everyone an eternal value. In Jesus, God gives free and open access to everyone who believes.

 

As the Apostle Paul starts this letter to the Colossians, he’s not writing to every person that calls Colossae their home. It’s not an open letter to everyone inside the city limits. Or people with a certain zip code. He’s directing this letter to three kinds of people.

 

  • Holy – These aren’t people that dress differently, or only eat certain kinds of food. Holy people have moved away from the world and towards God. It’s what’s going on inside their hearts and heads that makes them holy. They have pulled back from the world and moved closer to God. They’ve pulled out of the contest of pleasing people and have put down roots next to God. And they don’t just let their membership expire. No, they purposefully make a decision to leave one thing and move to another.

  • Faithful – This is someone who puts all their trust in someone. It’s not used as a word that’s just stuck next to someone’s name. What makes them faithful is not passing a membership class or even joining an organization. It’s not even coming forward to accept an invitation. A faithful person is someone who leans into someone so much that they are willing to change their life. What they think. How they make decisions. A faithful persons put’s their trust in someone so that it changes everything.

  • Brothers and Sisters – Paul’s not writing to some elite group of people at Colossae. It’s not to the leadership of the church either. This letter is for everyone. He’s treating them all as the same, like they’re related to him. All the brothers and sisters in a family have the same parents. Had all the same experiences and opportunities. They have the same parents. Ate at the same table.

 

And what brought all these different people together? What made them holy? Where did their faithfulness come from? How in the world did so many people, from all walks of life, get together as brothers and sisters? Paul tells us how this all came about.

 

In Christ. That’s how they moved from death to life[2]. From darkness to light[3]. From emptiness to fullness[4]. From brokenness to wholeness. All of these and more happened when they changed their address from being of this world and moved into God’s glorious kingdom.

 

When Paul addresses this letter, he’s asking the people who read and hear it to ask themselves the question. Are they holy? Are they faithful? Are they brothers and sisters? And most importantly, are they in Christ.

 

You see, that’s the point. Being in Christ is the start of everything. It’s the launching pad for our journey that lasts the rest of our lives. It’s the initial push of our bobsled of life down the track. It’s the tipoff. It’s the kickoff. It’s the first pitch.

 

I know that I just dumped a bunch of sports images into your head. And I’m sorry for that. But all sporting events have a starting point. You never cross the finish line without first starting. You’ll never win the prize without first beginning the race.

 

So, we have to ask the question, are you in Christ? Have you taken that first step of transferring your home from someplace where you’re trying to take care of yourself? To be in Christ, you move the weight and burden of taking care of everything yourself and give it to Jesus. He picks it up and takes all our burdens on himself.

 

The burden of our sin is where it starts. Where we stop trying to get better. Be better. To stop sinning and pay for it all by ourselves. We give Jesus all the junk in our trunk and he gives us all of his righteousness[5]. That’s where it all starts. Starting today. Give it all over to him. Let Jesus bring you into his forever family once and for all. That’s the best inclusion possible.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • When it comes to being holy and faithful, which one is easier? Why?

  • Describe some changes in your life when you came to Christ.

  • What’s a significant change that Jesus is making in your life now?


[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] John 5:24

[3] Acts 26:18

[4] Ephesians 3:19

[5] Romans 5:21

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