Thursday, July 26, 2012

God's Power Withn

Thursday, July 27, 2012
Scripture Reading—Colossians 1:9-14

In this letter to the Colossians, which many scholars believe was written by a follower of Paul after his death, the writer begins by stating his hopes for his readers.  He hopes that they will be filled with knowledge of God’s will, that they will lead lives worthy of the Lord, that they will be made strong to endure trials with patience.  All these things are noble aspirations.  They sound like very difficult things to accomplish or to become.  They sound like they would take many years of hard work, discipline, and spiritual training to attain.  They sound like character traits almost impossible for many of us to develop.  But the writer makes clear that any of these fruits in the life of the Christian do not come about merely by our hard work or spiritual effort.  They are the results of the power of God at work within us.  The writer makes clear that it is God, “who has enabled [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have forgiveness of sins.” (vss. 12-14)  How often do we view our spiritual growth and development  as  a product of our hard work, commitment, and devotion?  How often do we grow proud because of how much we’ve grown, or despondent over how little we’ve changed? Pride and despair are both enemies of the Christian.  The amazing truth we often forget is that God dwells within us through the Holy Spirit.  One of the most difficult lessons for us to learn is to surrender ourselves to this greater power and to simply allow it to produce Christ-like fruit within us.  Most of the time, we want to be in control deciding on the kind of person we will become, and how.  But God has a different plan.  God wants to help us become all we were created to be.  But surrender to God’s plan, God’s power, and God’s timing is no easy thing to do!

Thought for the day:  God has a vision of the kind of person we can become—a vision that far exceeds anything we could ever come up with on our own.  By surrendering our will to God, and inviting God’s Spirit to work within us, we can become that person!

Prayer:  O God, when I am proud of my spiritual accomplishments, or when I am despondent over my failures, help  me to remember that you have a far better plan for my life than I can imagine, and that you want to live and work within me to make that plan a reality.  Amen. 

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