And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:10-14, NIV)
Last week I shared that Paul was praying for the believers in Colossae as they searched to find God’s will in their lives. Here’s the Apostle’s explanation – and a great little summary of the Christian life:
- The Christian life begins with God rescuing us – Jesus has forgiven and redeemed us
- Now that we belong to HIS kingdom, our goal is simply to please the King. How?
- By doing good works that produce fruit;
- By growing in the knowledge of God;
- By growing in strength so that we have endurance and patience; and
- By joyfully giving thanks to the Father.
Three things come to mind when I read this list. First, God’s done the heavy lifting. He has saved, forgiven, redeemed, and qualified me. I don’t have much, if anything, to bring to the table. THIS is grace. Second, the order of things is very important here. The pleasing of the Lord, my good works, my growth and thanksgiving all are preceded by God’s work in my life. I’m not able to qualify myself with these things. I do them because I’m thankful for what God has done for me. Third, this summary of the Christian life is really pretty simple. Makes me think I spent way too much time studying theology in divinity school…