30 August 2018

‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.’

So said the apostle Paul to the Christians in Colossae almost 2000 years ago, to encourage them to press on in Christ Jesus.

If you are up-to-date in the term 3 Bible reading challenge, you would have read this verse this week. It contains some key ideas we are considering in our ‘E’  for this term – being established in the faith.

We are united with Christ Jesus or in Christ. We are justified in him, and through faith in him, what is true of him is true of us. Our faith is built on Christ. He is our foundation and it is through his Spirit that we grow. And because of what Christ has done, we are overflowing with thankfulness.

As well as Colossians, in the Bible reading challenge this term we’re reading some Psalms – some psalms that point us to the coming Messiah (Christ) and some psalms that will help us be thankful to God. The book of Psalms begins with this:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

The picture is similar to the one we see in Colossians. God’s person is planted and grows by God’s work through his word in us. As we grow, we overflow with thankfulness for what Jesus has done in us, and we bear fruit.

The psalmist and the apostle Paul knew the danger for God’s people of being distracted by the wicked, or the world. The same dangers surround us. The world clamours for our attention. But the best sounding human philosophies cannot compare with Christ who is ‘the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation’. God continues to grow us in him by his Spirit and through his word. It is by his word that he speaks to us and that we know him. That’s why loving it, reading it, knowing it matters.

The mini bookstall has books to help us in growing in God’s word. Titles include:

  • God of Word – How does God reveal himself to us today? Does he speak in ways other than the Bible? What is the connection between his Word and his Spirit? And where do my emotions fit in? Special bookstall price of $5
  • One Forever – what does it really mean for us to be united with Christ?
  • The Daily Reading Bible – if you’re looking for a new way to keep reading the Bible each day once the challenge is finished, then this series is for you. Each booklet contains 60-70 Bible readings and questions for reflection, and suggestions for prayer.
  • Sermon notebook – See Kate’s review of this resource and how it can help you listen to and reflect on what you hear in sermons.

This is definitely the last week the bookstall will be available. I know, I said that last week. But one last chance – so don’t miss it! And it just might help you with a Father’s Day gift!

Warmly in Christ,

Stacey Chapman
Women’s Ministry Coordinator