Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Meditation: Complete in Him?

Back in fifth grade I talked in class--a lot. When saintly Mrs. Wilson reached the limit of her patience, she made me write, “I will not talk in class” one hundred times on the blackboard. It was a classic educational moment. I was so short I needed to use a chair to reach the top of the board. I thought I would never finish. If only they had cut and paste back then! When I returned to school the next day--you guessed it--I still spoke out of turn in class.
The list of things I should not do has grown longer since those days: I should not slap people in the face when they drive me crazy; I should not wager the mortgage money on my lucky Lotto numbers; I should not text in the movie theater (or while driving); and I should not spend as much time as I do cruising the social network. Perhaps you can add to the list of things I should not do.
Don’t bother: I’ve given up trying not to do things. There are several problems with trying not to do things. I have a bad memory for rules, I lack the discipline, and I usually lack the will to follow them.
The Apostle Paul was one of the greatest rule-followers ever, yet he became a messenger of freedom.  Imagine a man who had memorized every one of the 614 points of the Old Testament law writing these freedom-filled words:
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Colossians 2: 20 - 23)
This same Apostle of freedom had exchanged one kind of teaching for another. As a result, he had but one goal for his converts: that they would resemble Jesus:
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Colossians 1: 28)
Both passages refer to “teaching.” Both teachings have perfection as the goal, yet the two kinds teaching produce very different results. Part of the the mystery of Paul’s letter to the Colossians revolves around this very issue, and provides the perfect week’s meditation:
  • What kind of teaching can lead me to perfection in Christ? 
  • What does “perfection” mean?
  • Is it possible in my life?
  • What does the Spirit mean when he says “in Him you have been made complete” (Colossians 2:10 - NASB)?
We could spend a lifetime in Paul’s letter to the Colossians looking for answers, but in my experience these questions are rarely asked. Perhaps dwelling on them this week could change the course of your life as a follower of Jesus. Do you dare?


  1. Perhaps--and I'm in favor of holiness. But is it possible? Hebrews 12:14 seems to think it *is* possible: "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

    Thanks for dropping by.

  2. 614 points of law... wow (O,O) No wonder the Jews had to sacrifice regularly, who could keep up!

  3. Who could keep up? Well, lots of people tried, and those who thought they were doing a good job of keeping up had a tendency to look down their noses at others who did not. The text-book definition of *self* righteousness.

  4. I believe the key lies in Jesus..literally..he said so much about the result of abiding in Him in John 15. I think when it says in Colossians that " Him, we are complete.." that it t's being very literal.

    We must hide ourselves in His way, his truth, his life...his light..his word..we must always seek to abide...we must continuously press into Jesus..and HE will finish what he has started in us..towards that glorious day when we are 'blameless and spotless'.

  5. I certainly agree with you that apart from Jesus it's a fruitless endeavor. Yet what drives me is the question: what is our role? How, precisely do we "hide ourselves in him?" I ask this because so many Christians believe that they have no role to play.

  6. Oh definitely, we have a role to play....definitely....I've seen the enemy brutalise believers for thinking that they have *no role *to play..

    Our role can be found all over the Bible...but to collect a few important ones...

    Firstly, we must understand that the very notion or act of 'abiding' in Jesus will be a war in and of itself, because we will have to fight our own feelings, our own fears, give up our own hopes and dreams, our ideals for the sake of following Jesus...and in this regard, 'obedience' is one way to 'abide' in Christ...

    In the same way that living in one house means that we do not live in another house...we must try to keep our mind focused...holding every thought 'captive'...this requires that we read our Bible so as to be able to identify the Devil's lies and so, are able to reject them...because as soon as we start to believe the Devil's lies, he draws us out of Jesus' house and closer and closer to his own...

    How do we maintain the objectivity that is needed to discern the Devil's lies..? Well, we can begin by not lying to ourselves but always allowing the word of God to sharpen and quicken us...not hating reproof but always open to God's molding so that we can be transformed...

    We must guard our hearts...from the indulgent thoughts that drag us away
    from Christ...

    We must pick up our armour to protect our position in Christ, protect our
    abiding, because the enemy is waiting on 'our doorstep'...

    We must be aware of the fact that we are not fighting a fight against mere
    mortals but against principalities and powers so we must live in the
    Spirit...and never be anxious, but pray always, with thanksgiving in our

    The word of God lays out for us so many 'ways' that we can maintain our
    hearts, and position in Christ...yet with all this, we must be aware that
    Christ gives us both the ability and the will to do everything and nothing
    is IMPOSSIBLE with Christ.

    ...there is just so much...shall I go on?

    Blessings and Sincerity,
    Janessa Mc Kell

    Be love..Be life..Believe.