We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:28-29, NIV)
As this first chapter of the letter of Colossians comes to a close, Paul is about to address some of the specific issues in the church (beginning in 2:1). But before he does, he makes a brief summary statement.
Paul and his team (we) have gone to great effort preaching about Jesus (proclaiming), warning of dangers (admonishing), and teaching believers the wisdom of God. Why does he go to the effort? So that the church may be presented to the Lord as perfect.
But don’t let that word throw you…the Greek term (telios) describes maturity. It describes reaching a desired end result. For Paul, he was teaching and preaching and warning so that people would listen and follow his direction. Imagine that!
It wasn’t easy. Paul calls it “labor” and a “struggle” – both words describing wearisome efforts and accompanying exhaustion. But he’s not working in his own power – it is God working in him and through him.
That’s a good reminder for us that if we want God’s power to work through us, we have to let first let it work in us. We can’t share God’s wisdom to others and ignore it in our own lives. We can’t lead others to maturity unless we, at the same time, are letting God mature us.
On the road together,