Tag Archives: Colossians 1

This Changes Everything

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Acts 2:1-4

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. Colossians 1:27

Of all the miracles referenced in the Bible, the Pentecost miracle in Acts 2 may be at the top of my list of moments I would love to have seen.  The tongues of fire ushering down God’s Spirit to indwell God’s people…wow!

In terms of their impact on this world and the ushering in of a completely new chapter in God’s story, I tend to think of the crucifixion, the resurrection and Pentecost as three aspects of a single, “this changes everything” moment in history.  All are significant in themselves, but all are necessary to bring about the age of the church.  It is a little like a three-legged stool in that regard.  Take any one of the legs away and you have an entirely different situation.

These three events (which all happened within just a few weeks of each other), taken together, changed forever the way God would relate to his creation…AND the way we, His children, would relate to each other.

Follow the history with me through the Bible…

In the garden, God related to Adam and Eve through an interpersonal relationship (yes, I am quite the literalist in my interpretation of scripture). …

Why We Reconcile with Each Other

As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.  Ezekiel 43:4-5

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12

broken heart reborn

Do you know what it feels like to temporarily lose access to God? Are you familiar with the loss of not being able to find God today in the exact same place you found Him yesterday? Then you know something of the pain of the exiles to whom Ezekiel spoke.

I cannot even imagine a world where “the glory of the Lord” is geographical, i.e., in a particular place, such that it leaves that place and then returns to that place. To those of us living in the age of the church, that concept is rather foreign, because, for us, the Spirit of God quite literally resides in every believer. But we trust God’s Word to nonetheless have a word for us through this very vivid imagery of Ezekiel’s prophecy. What, then, is our contemporary take-away from Ezekiel’s visions about being “in” and “out” of the presence of the Lord? Surely, these visions speak about truths on multiple levels…one for the exiles in Babylon, one for us today, and yet another for those in the end times (to name a few).

For us today, if it is true that the Spirit of God resides in every believer (Col. 1:27; John 15:5; 1 John 4:12), then the easiest way to be “cut off” from God is to be “cut off” from the brother in whom He resides. Broken relationships, you see, are a contemporary version of living outside …

It’s Like Poking Possums

Tuesday Re-mix –

…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 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. Colossians 1:26-27

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

We have lots of “critters” come through our backyard.  Over the last 20 years or so, we’ve had raccoons, possums, coral snakes, skunks, and birds galore.  We even had a Road Runner hatched under our deck once (different story…maybe a future post).  In her younger days, Lacee (our Cocker Spaniel…no longer with us) would sometimes bring us “trophies” which she had caught.  And her favorite was always possums.

The thing about possums is that, when your dog brings you one and it looks lifeless enough, you can’t be too quick to judge.  There is a reason they call it “playing possum”.  You have to poke it a few times to see if it’s really dead.  Sometimes even that doesn’t work.  Then you have to leave it alone out on the patio for a few minutes and wait and see if it gets up and scurries off.  But if it’s still there the next morning, you can go ahead and dispose of it.  It’s dead.  Score one for Lacee.

In my church’s youth gatherings on Wednesday nights, they have been watching an Andy Stanley video series on what it means to be “fishers of men”.  At that same time, I’ve been spending time in one of my favorite passages: Colossians 1.  I have written about it in previous posts (e.g., here).  This is Paul’s very cool statement about “the great mystery …