Colossians 1:1, 2
I once read about an elderly gentleman who lived in a retirement home. One day, a visitor asked him, ‘What’s it like to live in an old folk’s home?’ Pulling himself up to his full height, he responded with great dignity, ‘I don’t live in an old folk’s home! I live in God!!’ That’s a wonderful answer, and it comes from the kind of perspective that sees yourself living ‘’in Christ’’ first of all, and only secondarily ‘’at Colossae’’ (2a). Do you see Jesus as your primary place of residence; as your supernatural habitat? We are likely to make the greatest impact on our geographical location when we see ourselves as fundamentally located in Christ. Then all that is in Him can flow through us to touch our village, town or city; the places where we live. At one and the same time we need to be connected to heaven, and also connected to the place where God has called us to live on earth.
Paul knew who he was and what he was (1). His calling was to be ‘’an apostle’’. This is what the will of God meant for him: he was a witness of the risen Lord, having met Him personally. He was also sent on a mission, to preach the good news about Jesus and pioneer churches in virgin Gentile territory. Do you know who you are ‘’by the will of God’’. God has a ‘shape’ for your life. He doesn’t expect you to ‘fit’ (or ‘squeeze’) into anyone else’s ‘slot’. As the hymn says: ‘’There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.’’ You are special; you are unique. Even someone else who has the same gifts as you won’t exercise those gifts in the way you do. Their personality and character will colour the exercise of the gifts. True satisfaction and fulfilment in life come not to those who try to be someone else (that way you will only run into tons of frustration) but to those who discover who/what God has called them to be, and get on with it.
At one church where I visit from time to time, many of the people have a quite refreshingly old –fashioned way of speaking. (That doesn’t matter in the least of course, because their sincere love for Jesus is almost tangible.) I have often heard the leaders say about an individual in the church, ‘’He’s a good brother is….’’, then they will name him. I want to say that if it’s a fine thing to be an apostle to someone (as Paul was to many), it is also invaluable to be a ‘good brother’ to someone (as Timothy was.) This was also the case with the Christians in Colossae. They were ‘’the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae…’’ (2a). They were ‘’holy’’ i.e. set apart to belong to God. They were also ‘’faithful’’ in living out that calling. (And, of course, there were ‘sisters’ among the brothers!)
One way you can bless other people today is by your words. As much as possible, let them be words of ‘’Grace and peace’’ (2b); words that speak of and come from ‘’God our Father.’’
‘’May everything good from God our Father be yours!’’ The Message.
Prayer: Lord, cause me to know and do your will for my life today; help me to be a brother to someone today; and enable me to be your mouthpiece today. Make my life a blessing.