Sunday, April 15, 2018

JESUS CHRIST IS THE CENTER OF OUR HEARTS

Jesus Christ is the center of our hearts



Paul rejoiced in his sufferings but it was for those that he ministered to so complaining at this point in his life was not on the pecking order. This Apostle had some kind of affliction in his body but his love for the church far surpassed his pain. This is a rare attitude that many servants of God do not have because the Holy Spirit has to put this in us through our willingness to have this degree of love. God made Paul a minister but it was for them and for all practical purposes for us because this Apostle wanted to fulfill the word of God.



Paul spoke of a mystery that was hid for generations but was now made manifest to His saints. He wanted them to know that one of the truths made known was God revealing the riches of His glory which is Christ in us our hope of glory.



It is very interesting to me that Paul as a preacher used the term warning every man before he talked about teaching every man in all wisdom. The warning is the fact that most people are unfortunately going to die in their sins and Paul was extremely aware of this truth. On the good side teaching Christians the Bible was for the purpose of presenting every man perfect in Christ Jesus.



Paul made sure that he let his readers know that he was laboring for Jesus Christ which was very much part of his spirit. He was doing his part of bringing in the harvest --- are we? Trust me when I say this we don't want to be found not working for Jesus Christ at the rapture of the church. This is the very least we can do considering everything God did for us through His Son Jesus Christ.



Let us face the facts because Paul knew many people. He pours his heart out to all these different groups that he cares for very much because he wanted their souls comforted being knit together in love and being rich with full assurance in understanding the word of God. The Apostle also talks about the mystery of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We know many of the answers regarding this divine reality but I can relate to the Apostle because sometimes it works better for me to see these truths as a mystery.



The very last verse I will be going over is one of the most popular verses in the Bible. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." It is pretty obvious we are to be seeking Jesus Christ everyday for wisdom and knowledge? Let me quote the original text in the Bible that I will be going over and I certainly encourage you to read it and perhaps make reference to this passage if you need be in this particular study of the Bible.



(24) "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflications of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church: (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from greerations, but now is made manifest to His saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily." Colossians 1 :24 - 29.



(1) "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; (2) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:1 - 3.



There are different types of ministers. Paul was a suffering preacher. He did get persecuted for the exact reason of preaching the gospel to them. The thing with the Apostle Paul is he rejoiced in his sufferings. Fill up that which is behind is difficult to interpret but he seemed to be saying that his spirit was filling up with the fullness of the Holy Spirit and as a result Paul was with them in his heart very deeply with Godly affection.



I pointed out that Paul used the word warn before teach. Human beings are very prone to walk down the path of destruction. It is just in us because that is our nature. When the Apostle warned people that were amiss he desired them to get right with God. Paul approached his ministry with warning and teaching combined into one. This should be our aim because both are pertinent to our well being with God and other people. We need warnings because we do not want to offend God but if we don't grow with grace and knowledge then we will never be balanced in our growth. When we were a child (small) but older (bigger). Small of course being associated with warnings and bigger being associated with growing in grace and knowledge. I think we would all agree if we are always being warned we are still a spiritual child.



Paul also confesses that he was a preacher of labor. I put my insight in on this subject that we do not want to be the unprofitable servants because of fear. We should be using our gifts to bring in the harvest before Jesus Christ comes for His church. Paul wanted to do good. God is looking at our heart. One of the reasons the power of God was working in Paul was because he did this work with "Heart" and was very effective because obedience comes before comfort.



Paul talked about the mystery that was hid from the ages but was now made manifest to the saints. This is the riches of the glory of God among the gentiles. Jesus Christ was in them who was their hope of glory. The base of our hope has to be in Jesus Christ. I think it is a very thought provoking subject that people who went to hell and came back to tell their story often said, I was suffocating because the air was very thin, the odor was beyond horrible, I was hungry, I was thirsty, I wanted to go to bed but could not, I was burning in flames and demons came over to torture me but the worst thing was I had no hope. When Paul gives this principle to have strong hope in Jesus Christ then grasp on to this with all you have because this is a precious truth we have in our beloved Savior and Lord. What is the evidence of this special hope? It is the Holy Spirit working in our heart.



In verse twenty three the Apostle says continue in the faith, grounded and settled but do not move away from the hope of the gospel in Jesus Christ. We can expect the good end of our faith if we continue abiding in Jesus Christ. The key to this is to be so grounded in the Son of God that we can not be moved from this precious faith, hope and love that we have for Jesus Christ.



Paul never saw the people of Colosse and yet he spoke to them with tenderness. Granted he expressed himself in a strange way in Colossians 2:1 because he used the verb conflict but it was his way of telling them how much he truly loved them with all his heart. Conflict, hope and love go together. He expressed the hope that they would meet in heaven. I think Paul knew deep down that they would not meet on earth but he did want their hearts knit together in love. This was the only way they were going to be comforted. Love has a way of producing true peace.



Our knowledge has to grow for us to have an understanding of the mystery of God. This is not surface knowledge because we eventually have to enter into the meaning and grand design of the will of God. Our faith is supposed to grow to an assurance and acknowledgment of this mystery that Paul is writing about to these Christians. Assurance is a well settled knowledge and acknowledgment is belief in our hearts and confession with our mouths. Then we will be rich with assurance of understanding because this makes for strong faith and a rich soul.



I have some peace about myself when I realize that their hearts were comforted in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Their souls were prospering because they were filled with joy and peace. Is that where our hearts are in Jesus Christ? The stronger our faith the warmer our love and the greater our comfort.



In verse three Paul says, "In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." These treasures are not hidden from us but for us in the Person of Jesus Christ. The wisest thing we can do in life is to draw from the treasures which are hidden in the Son of God.



If you do not have this precious gift of salvation in our Lord that we serve maybe now would be a good time to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. If you just made that all important eternal decision then you may desire to follow along with our Bible studies that we have dedicated to God through His Son Jesus Christ.



God Bless you,

Bob D.

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