July 15, 2021
Carolyn L. Kidd
Clinch Mountain District
“Let’s Talk About Jesus”
Colossians 1:15-23 CEB
Hymn about Christ’s work
the one who is first over all creation,[a]
16 Because all things were created by him:
both in the heavens and on the earth,
the things that are visible and the things that are invisible.
Whether they are thrones or powers,
or rulers or authorities,
all things were created through him and for him.
17 He existed before all things,
and all things are held together in him.
18 He is the head of the body, the church,
who is the beginning,
the one who is firstborn from among the dead[b]
so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
19 Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him,
20 and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
whether things on earth or in the heavens.
He brought peace through the blood of his cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and you were enemies with him in your minds, which was shown by your evil actions. 22 But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death, to present you before God as a people who are holy, faultless, and without blame. 23 But you need to remain well established and rooted in faith and not shift away from the hope given in the good news that you heard. This message has been preached throughout all creation under heaven. And I, Paul, became a servant of this good news.
As I write this devotional, I am deep into planning an upcoming Vacation Bible School with the theme, “Let’s Talk About Jesus,” which could be an appropriate title for this scripture passage. This passage begins by telling us who Jesus is. Jesus is God’s Son, the image of invisible God. Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus, through his work on the cross, has made for us a way to be reconciled to God even though we have alienated ourselves from God by our sins. Now, listen to who God says we are…holy, faultless, and without blame. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to be in relationship with God by being Jesus’ disciple.
We are cautioned to remain in faith and hang on to our hope because of Jesus. Discipleship is a way of life. It is important that we keep our heart and our head with Jesus. Conversion is the beginning but discipleship is a daily process of growing to be more like Christ. As we each work out our own salvation, we each decide how we can best live out our discipleship to the glory of God.
We are called to develop holy habits which bear witness to the story of Jesus in our lives, to live by God’s power, in God’s way, for God’s purpose. And, as we grow as disciples, as our faith becomes more deeply rooted, we are witnesses to the good news that we have both heard and embraced.
Each day offers opportunities to share our witness. For some, all they know about God is what they see in the actions of God followers they encounter each day. And while those around us may not see “holy, faultless, and without blame” they should certainly see fruits of our relationship with Jesus: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Make good choices in our attitudes, actions, and words as we seek to be a faithful witness.
In 1917, Thomas Chisholm wrote the now familiar hymn, “Living For Jesus”. The words are an appropriate response to today’s scripture, both as praise for Jesus’ work reconciling us to God and as a guide to seeking to live “holy, faultless, and without blame”:
“Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.
Living for Jesus, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.