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Wednesday August 1 – Introduction, and the fruit of love

This month’s meditations will focus on Paul’s epistle to the Colossians. When the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He withdrew Himself from our three-dimensional experience of reality and ascended into another dimension of God’s created reality known as heaven. While the disciples saw the Lord Jesus ascend, they did not see him enter into heaven for the cloud of God’s glory took Him out of their sight. Since His ascension, the Lord Jesus Christ is hidden in the glory of His Father and glorified together with Him.

However, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only hidden in the glory of the Father, Christians are also hidden with Christ in the glory of the Father (3:3). As the expression “in Christ” so also the expression “with Christ” shows that we participate in the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. We participate in what He did in the past, what He is doing in the present and what He will do in the future. We died and arose with Him, we ascended with Him in glory and we will appear with Him in glory.

This participation with Christ is a hidden reality, as is the reality of our life being hidden with Christ in the glory of the Father. That the source of our life is hidden with Christ in the Father is not visible to others. It is also not visible to ourselves. We need to believe this.

In a sense, Colossians is all about the different facets of the hidden reality of our real life and true existence: our life being hidden with Christ in the glory of the Father. That’s why I have entitled the series Hidden with Christ in God.

I enjoyed writing these meditations. I was edified in doing so. I hope and pray that you will be too.

*****

 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints… – Colossians 1:3-4

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 13

When people hear that you are a Christian, what do they hear about you? When they hear that you belong to a Christian congregation, what do they hear about your congregation?

If we were to ask Paul this question about the church of Colossae, what would he say? What had he heard about its members? What had he heard about the congregation? Paul had not planted this church. Epaphras had planted it. At the moment of writing, Paul is in prison in Caesarea. What did he hear about the church in Colossae while he is waiting to be transferred to Rome? What set this congregation and its members apart from its pagan environment?

Paul had heard about their love for each other. The pagan world in which the members of the congregation lived was marked by lust, anger and lies that split up families and other communities. The Christian church, however, was marked by love that united families and the church community. Even major differences, such as race, social background and culture no longer drove a wedge between the members of the church. This did not mean that everyone had good feelings toward one another. They may have. But it meant that when others were rude, they were kind. When others offended them, they forgave. When others rejected them, they accepted them. This is ultimately what the Christian faith is about, as the summary of the law the Lord Jesus taught us. If we do not have this love, we are really nothing according to 1 Corinthians 13.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask your heavenly Father to pour out His love in you through His Holy Spirit so that others may experience His love in and through you.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC.


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