Staying the course…

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Scripture: Colossians 1:21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

Observation: Paul is offering words of encouragement to the believers in Colossia as they have learned to turn from their deviant ways and embraced the ways and will of God. V.23 reminds the people not to turn away from the gospel, but “continue securely established and steadfast in the faith”.

Application: Some believers are those who were essentially born into the faith. They were raised by Christian parents and have been meaningfully engaged with the community of believers since childhood. Some refer to such persons as “cradle Christians”. I am not one of these.

I can remember as a young adult, recently married to a life-long Christian woman, seeing my life through the lenses of faith. To be honest, I didn’t like much of what I saw. I was my own god, making my own rules as I saw fit. And there were clearly people in my life I had to let go of – because being with them meant walking in ways that were in coflict with faith. Following Jesus meant embracing an entirely new way of life.

That was hard. That IS hard.

I’ve come a long way over 25 years as a committed Christian, but there are still areas where I struggle. I clearly remain a work in progress. I’m guessing the same is true of you.

Dr. Dallas Willard, recently deceased, once said, “Christian discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction”. So true.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us grace to remain “securely established and steadfast in the faith”. Amen.

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