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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 

Saturday-Holding On

 

as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

 

Philippians 2:16

 

We hold onto different things differently. We hold on tightly to the things we highly value while we let others slip away. We’ll use a lot of energy and brain power to hold onto what we really want to keep while we really don’t care about other things.

 

Think about your keys. I bet you just about craw out of your skin when you can’t find them. Or what about your phone? You’ll move heaven and earth to find your phone when it goes missing.

 

Same thing with people. There are some relations that just don’t mean all that much. If they don’t call, it’s no big deal. You just let them slide out of your life. And then there are other people that you’ll do anything to keep. You’ll never give up on them. You’ll crawl on your hands and knees over glass for them.

 

The same is true with the idea of holding. You can hold with two very different attitudes. You can do the exact same thing, holding, but cause two very different outcomes. Holding is one of those things that you can do very differently. There’s holding and then there’s holding.

 

You can hold something tight so that only you can have it. You hold it as a way to selfishly have it. Only you possess it. This is like how Gollum thinks about “My precious[1]” in Lord of the Rings. He wants it for himself and no one else. And he’s willing to do anything to get it just for himself.

 

But this isn’t how Paul thinks about the word of life. It isn’t his to keep for himself alone. No. He’s holding onto God’s word as he holds it out to everyone. He’s not throwing it out through some impersonal email blast. He’s holding it in his hand as he shares it with everyone. Which brings up a couple of questions.

 

  • First – how are we holding onto the word of life? Are we doing everything we can to possess it? Are we willing to move mountains for it? Are we even willing to change our priorities and schedules to hold onto God’s word more and more?

  • Second – how are we holding out the word of life? Are we keeping it just for ourselves or do we look to give it away to everyone? Are we holding onto it for the purpose of sharing it with the people around us?

 

Part of the answer to that question can be seen in how you spend your time. Is your schedule consumed with only Christians and Christian activities? Have you insulated yourself within a cocoon of Christian activities and people? Have you isolated yourself from your family? Neighbors? Complete strangers? God wants you and me to be like Paul, holding out God’s word. We are to be handing out the word of life to the world around us. We’re not to keep it selfishly for ourselves. It’s something to be freely shared. Freely given.

 

But when Paul held out the word of life to others, it wasn’t just some hobby that he picked up when he wanted to. Oh no. To Paul, this was serious work. He gave out God’s work with all the strength, energy, and creativity he had. He kept giving and giving till he was exhausted.

 

Paul did this because of how he saw God’s love and grace towards himself. God easily could’ve turned away from him. His sin, rebellion, and pride certainly gave God enough of a reason to reject him for all eternity. But God didn’t. God kept on loving and seeking after Paul.

 

You see, Paul was really committed to God, the things of God, and God’s people. There wasn’t anything that Paul wasn’t ready to do in service to the King of kings. He was willing to give his life for the Lord of Lords.

 

How do you react to that kind of commitment on Paul’s part? Does it make you upset or uncomfortable? Do you think that this level of determination and dedication to the things of God is for people that have nothing better to do? Or is only for the chosen few? For the truly called?

 

By the way, if you think that serving God with all your heart, soul, strength, and might is for someone else? Think again. When asked about how to have eternal life, Jesus says something we really don’t like.

 

He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 

Luke 10:27

 

If we want to live the life we were made to live, the life that gives meaning and purpose, then we live it for others. First for God and then for others. It’s that simple. But no one said that simple was easy. Or popular. Living like this is the complete opposite of everything we’ve ever been told. Yes it is. But it’s the only life worth living. The only life worth holding onto.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • List three things that you hold onto tightly. Why are these so important>

  • Explain how we should hold onto the word of life. Why?

  • How will our priorities change to hold onto the word of life?


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