CHRIST: THE MYSTERY WE PREACH - PART 5
TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2023
Now thanks be unto God, who has empowered us with the savour of Christ's knowledge, and uses us to proclaim and spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.
Reference: Colossians 1:28-29 New International Version (NIV) "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."
Today's focus is on the last segment which is: To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
To preach the Gospel with success, apostle Paul had to strive in accordance with the divine, amazing power and energy that surged within him - often to the point of exhaustion. This calls to mind the reason he noted, "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 NLT). The great and manifold working of divine strength and energy, namely Christ, was demonstrated within and through him as he took advantage of it, which in turn, blessed his labour of converting many souls to Christ, and raising them with the wisdom of God.
Aside from admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, in what other ways did Paul contend strenuously, so as to present the saints fully mature in Christ? By praying and interceding for them. An instance can be found in Colossians 1:9 which reads, "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives" (NIV).
He also contended strenuously, by setting a goal and endeavouring to achieve it. That's the reason, the segment started with "To this end..." In other words, "toward this goal." We see the accurate rendering in the New English Translation of Colossians 1:29, which reads, "Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.
To that effect, in Colossians 2:2-3, apostle Paul noted, "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" (NIV).
Setting a goal like this -was a monumental step that helped Paul to hold himself accountable for the growth and maturity of God's people. This implies that the apostle didn't only have divine direction, he equally functioned with a written goal or a plan that enabled him to focus his full attention and effort on raising God's people. Zero wonder he actualised increased productivity with a great level of motivation. So, with a well-thought-out goal, he didn't have to strive aimlessly or in vain.
He also contended strenuously, by reminding the saints of the glorious gospel they've received from him.
After his teachings, he kept reminding them of the Word, encouraging them to live the life of the Spirit - with all the essence of this same divine energy at work in him. For instance, he addressed the Corinthian saints, saying, "Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place..." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NLT).
Beloved, like Paul the apostle, learn to celebrate and take advantage of the divine ability which is the energy, "Christ", that so powerfully works in you. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Job 9:4; Psalm 147:5; Ephesians 3:20-21; Ephesians 6:10.
Exuberant Declaration: The wisdom and knowledge of Christ have become a permanent part of my thought pattern and I'm grateful for the awesomeness of His mighty power that works mightily in me. Praise God!