Jesus, be the center of my life. May nothing ever displace You as most important to me.
Read Colossians 1:24-2:5
 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.  I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness-  the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.  To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.  To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.  I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.  My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.  For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat "mystery" does Paul disclose?
As a young teenager at a girls’ school, I was teased because I knew less about the physical aspects of growing up than some other students did. It was hurtful. I felt excluded and inferior. Somehow this lack of knowledge made me–in the other girls’ eyes at least–a target for ridicule and scorn. In a way, this sort of situation is what Paul is driving at here. The Gnostic heresy, among other things, emphasized that salvation was only achieved by “special knowledge”–in other words, it’s what you know, not who you know. Paul is at pains to refute this. He begins by explaining that the mystery of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (27) is for Gentiles as well as Jews, then emphasizes that everyone may be presented “mature,” or “perfect,” in Christ (28). Gnostics used the word “perfect” to describe those who knew the secret knowledge that gave them salvation; Paul uses it to describe all who may respond to the proclamation of Christ. The importance of this is seen in chapter 2–full riches and complete understanding are found in Christ, knowledge of whom is available to all (2,3).
Have you ever given in to the “It’s what you know, not who you know” fallacy in spiritual matters?
Pray for yourself and for your church to stay focused on Christ, keeping the peripherals of faith peripheral.
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