Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Diligence

In May, my husband and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage.  We look back on that day and it seems like it has been just a few years but we also note how young we were starting out our life together.  It has been an incredible 20 years, but it has also required diligence on each of our parts to continue growing in our relationship with one another.  It doesn't take any effort at all to drift away from each other; however, it takes purpose to stay together.  There are many things that can put stress on a marriage like temptation, financial pressures, and so much more.  But we can keep doing things that will build our relationship with God's help instead of tearing it down.

Today's reading with the Community Bible Experience takes us through the book of Colossians.  I have to admit that I was happy to see that the reading for today was Colossians because I love how clear and concise the book is about our walk with Christ.  I was trying hard to make sure that the reading was fresh for me because I had spent so much time studying the book a while ago.  Reading through it without all the headings helped keep it fresh this morning, and I want to point out a theme that seemed to surface as I read Colossians.

Paul starts out the letter with encouragement and a reminder of where their hope and salvation comes from.  He points out that it is through Christ that we are saved and uses the phrase "the firstborn of all creation."  He really is the firstborn since we know that it was through Jesus that the world was created.  But in this reminder, Paul makes a statement that reminds us to be diligent in our walk with Jesus.  Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV) says,
"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel."
 I don't think I ever noticed the "if" in those verses before.  And it is an important "if" because it reminds us that it takes purpose and resolve to continue on.  Just like saying "I do" on our wedding day is the beginning of our journey together and not the end, our walk with Christ is similar.  Just by believing when we first start our walk with Christ doesn't mean that there are not influences in the world that would like to pull us away.  It takes an intentional walk to "continue in your faith, established and firm" and not moving away from the hope you held rooted in the truth of the gospel.

I would highly encourage you to read through Colossians because Paul gives some more explanation into what can pull our attention away from the path we are on with Christ.  He warns against deceptive philosophies and legalism that can divert our attention from what is truth and what really matters.  He encouraged us through this letter to stay diligent in our faith, because Jesus is all we need.

What are the things that want to pull your attention away from Christ?  Are you resolved to continue on in your faith?

This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.

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