At some point we need to move beyond the excitement of receiving Jesus Christ into our lives and we must carry that joy and literally run with it, yes we must run, walk, move. Being born again is just a starting point, there is growth that must be experienced, change, maturity in areas where we need to mature. Our knowledge of God has to increase and our lives reflect more and more of his nature day by day. Yes we make mistakes here and there but the trajectory of our lives after Christ should always be upward and forward moving.
So, then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and over-flowing with thankfulness…Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
This is an excerpt from Paul’s letter to the Colossians and I think it speaks directly to us as well, to anyone who has given their lives to Christ and I would like us to give it some thought and talk about it, there are some words and phrases that stand out to me.
CONTINUE – Whatever conviction you had when you surrendered your life, when you came to terms with the reality that things have changed from here on out, Paul says to us that we should continue in that vein. Don’t give your life to Christ and then go back to living the way you were living like nothing happened. I completely understand that change and maturity is gradual but what we must remain in is the truth that we have discovered, that our old way of life and the world’s way of life is not the way to go, we must continue in the way of life that God has now put us in. When you stumble and make mistakes, you get up and keep going.
ROOTED AND BUILT – So this is kind of like saying Yes to someone before you get to know them, a bit counter intuitive but it’s God so he can fully be trusted. This is where we now have to get into the word of God to know God better, to understand better what his plan is for us, who he is, what he likes and doesn’t like. What sustains the relationship is the knowledge and the experience we have of him and with him.
STRENGTHENED – When we are rooted and built, then we have strength to stand against what the devil will bring our way as he just doesn’t give up trying to mess things us just because we gave our lives to Christ. Our new way of life will be tested and it is at this time that we receive strength from the knowledge we have of him, it fuels our faith. We are confident that God is with us no matter what and we can never lose when we choose him in any circumstance.
TAUGHT – Not only is the word of God teaching us, this is really telling us to always be humble, our hearts ever ready to learn from him. We must also be willing to learn from other people who may have gone down the road and made it through and we are just going through. Let other people’s testimonies and experiences give you hope that God always comes through. We must also be excited about learning, studying and being in fellowship with other believers, don’t run away from Church and I do understand unfortunately man has made church to be in contrast with God intended it, but there are still some very good bible believing churches out there whose central message and focus is Jesus Christ and nothing or no one else.
THANKFULNESS – When all is said and done, we must always be grateful to God that he chose us and was willing to do whatever it took to save us. Thankful that he decided to offer a once and for all sacrifice to redeem us and restore us. Thankful that there is forgiveness and redemption provided for us not only for the sins committed but even for what is yet to be done, ain’t that amazing?
So, we have been made brand new and we must therefore remain brand new by living brand new. Things have changed and we have to constantly remind ourselves that old things have passed away and all things have been made new!