Saturday 15 May, 2021

Colossians 1:24-29

24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Paul is under house arrest as he writes this letter to the small church in modern day western Turkey. He is not focussed on his own dire situation but on the church and his calling, to bring the message of the word of God in all its fullness – that is God’s salvation plan completed in Jesus.

God has encouraged me through these verses to reflect on my calling. It is so clear that Paul was not being diverted from his purpose. He knew he had been called by God with a unique purpose. This calling required him to be a servant, a teacher, a discipler who was to prepare people to be perfect in Christ. Ps Phil Pringle has written that each of us are called by God with a unique purpose. And each of us has been equipped with gifts to fulfill this purpose. No one wants to live a life without purpose.

How did Paul keep going in the face of so much opposition and through the suffering? Do I doubt my ability to fulfill my purpose, or that I have the strength to keep on? Sure I do, when I rely on myself and not God. Paul’s reliance on God is my example, that no matter how difficult or how thwarted I have been, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8 v 28).

Not sure of your unique purpose? Matthew 6 verse 33-36 remind us to seek his kingdom and righteousness first, above all. That’s a great place to start.

Dear Jesus, you have called me by name for a unique purpose. My feelings of inadequacy and failure sometimes block the path to fulfilling that purpose, but I thank you that you never abandon me, and always strengthen me, like you did for the apostle Paul. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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