For By Him All…Created

Ice Cream Party copy“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him.” Colossians 1:16 KJV

Trying to “unpack” this verse is a bit like trying to unpack the universe including everything in the spiritual and natural world. That is because all that is involved in the statement. He, our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, our Brother and the Lover of our souls, our Savior and the treasure of Heaven itself was and is the creating agent and the reason for everything that exists. If anyone lacks purpose for living – just read that verse again.

Each of us, individually and collectively, find our reason and purpose for existence in Him. It is not as if a special purpose for each need exist, (although it certainly does), just to understand that our existence is forever bound in purpose to and in Him is quite sufficient to lift our heads and move forward.

Notice what all is included in this word. Our Lord Jesus is the reason for it all. So as He is in me, by permission, (and in you if you choose), then our purpose for living and being on this planet is Him and the work of His hands. He longs to do much during our time. It is our joy to cooperate in Him and allow that to become reality in our world.

Yes, he desires that all (whosoever) who come to a knowledge and walk in Him as Savior and Lord, open to share in Him. If we find ourselves a bit bored with Christianity, then we have not yet seen, nor understood the enormous open door to know and experience Him through-out our days in all the works of “our hands.” For “our hands” have His mark of creative genius and are empowered in Him to do “greater” than He did.

He made it all. Let’s allow that to be our reason for breath and begin the creative living process in Him. It matters not how I have failed, that is washed in His empowering blood. He has the ability to do-anew in you and in me. Oh Beloved Believer, begin to allow Him to “unpack” all life is for the two of you together. It is beyond our understanding, but not beyond our ability to experience.

Oh Lord Jesus, we open our hearts to be included in all your creative work of Spirit and Word, choosing to learn Your love expression in all. Thank you for the power to do so.

The Son Is The Image

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“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16 NIV

We begin a passage of Scripture with these two verses that will take more than one lifetime to unfold into the depth of its reality! Colossians 1:15-20 is all about our Lord Jesus Christ and who He is. Based on these few verses, our lives can change and become much more than we have ever dreamed or thought about. He is glorious in every way. So let’s look at this first part.

He is the “image of the invisible God.” We find the word “image” in our English Bibles first used in reference to the creation of the first of the human race in Genesis 1:26. The word is used much in Paul’s writings, but for now, we just need to note that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. The God of all Gods, our Father, is a Spirit and we are told to worship Him in spirit and in truth. However, in the fullness of time, as the Bible says, Jesus was born of human flesh – like us in every way (Hebrews 2:17; 4:15) – yet without sin. He was made in human form and accomplished all the Father intended. The invisible God is now visible! His Son has manifested Him completely and continues to reign as Lord of All.

In like manner, He is still seen today in the lives of those who love Him and have dedicated their lives to Him. One of our primary jobs as believers is to “be as He is in this world” (1 John 4:17) That is not to make us feel guilty for not being all we should be, but to enfold us into His very being so we will be encouraged to “be.” He has done all the hard work and now releases us to display the Father to all, loving as He loved and doing what He did – except greater. I think that was the word Jesus used.

So be encouraged, my fellow believer in this world-wide job. He has forgiven us and taken all the guilt – now we are released to reconcile others to His heart. What a beautiful and excellent opportunity! He is the image and Scripture reveals that we are being formed in that same image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

See what I mean by “taking a lifetime?”

(Thought you might enjoy a photo I took this morning in my side yard. It was yellow just a couple of days ago and now a beautiful red). I so enjoy the Fall season and my camera!

Rescued and Translated!

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, and in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14

What an absolutely marvelous gift! Each person who chooses to walk in Jesus Christ is completely rescued from the dominion of darkness and has been brought into the Kingdom of the Son of His love! Whether we believe it or no, whether we receive it or not, He still did it! My believing it and receiving it simply places it into activation and it is a done deal – for the one who says “Yes!”

During the past 20-30 years in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement, there have been many “how-to’s” and various trainings about the power of our enemy and how to deal with Him in that realm. In the light of this passage, I find those things unnecessary. We are simply not in the same spiritual Kingdom as the enemy of our souls. When we engage in his realm, we have simply forgotten whose realm we live – the Kingdom of the Son of our Father’s love. We were rescued from one kingdom and translated into another!

Now if we choose to participate purposefully in his realm, then we will have placed ourselves back into and under his dominion. We need not do that. That is much of our problem, we do not know who be belong to, nor do we understand His power within us – if we will so choose. So let’s keep ourselves in His keeping, (it is not that hard with all the power – just read the passage in its contacts and the previous blogs and rejoice) within our Lord’s dominion and continue to move forward in His power and wisdom.

Yes, LORD!

Following The Motion – Integrating​ Fully

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 10.52.06 AMColossians 1:9b-12 NIV

The passage above has some motion markers placed within the words. As you read it, allow the sense of motion to invade so it can be felt as well as mentally seen. This section, which I have needed to break up into smaller portions to begin to get a grasp on it all, in the Greek runs from Colossians 1:9 through verse 14. Most of our English translations have made some breaks in it to help us breathe with it.  I have worked with it and put a few things there to help us see that one thing leads to another, empowers something further and just keeps moving into more and more and more. This is the movement of the Holy Spirit. When we feel we have finally conquered a portion of Holy Writ, then the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see further, then further then further. It never ends!

In this brief passage (most of which we have studied) the pathway has opened for us to step into the “already done” work of our Lord Jesus, and integrate our lives within His provision. Our part is to allow the infusion which He has done in us. When we came to Christ, we were “infused” with His nature in the new man. Now it is our part to cooperate and to integrate all of us with that infusion. Our Lord remains a gentleman and never force feeds us with anything He has provided. He simply allows us to discover the fullness and choose to receive the truth of His might in us.

Talking with Him is a good example. While it is all accomplished, it awaits activation by our will and our desire to be involved in all dimensions, as they are discovered in us. As we dialogue with the Lord, more and more begins to become apparent – our thoughts about need are completely overtaken by the massive provision. Then we learn to move within the provision. Our conversation in Him makes all the difference. Our thoughts become the switch-gears that propel us into such love, mercy, and provision. It is all in Him.

 “…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the Kingdom of light,” (1:11-12) 

These open for us the understanding that He has even provided the strength and energy to endure, whatever and to have patience in the process as we become people of joyful thankfulness. This is the portion of those who have been qualified to share with all His people in this Kingdom of Light.

Those concepts and realities are almost too much to receive into me. I want to balk and adopt a pseud-humility that has its eyes on my person, instead of my King! It is so easy to be consumed with my thinking about me, instead of His thinking about me.

Thank you, Lord, for such strength in your Spirit to think the thoughts of life and to allow such integration into You. You are much more than we have ever thought!

Stronger Than We Dreamed!

“…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:11-12 NIVBe-strong

Back to being a recipient! The thrust of the message in this entire passage is the over whelming and complete power of God on our behalf. Here we have the expectation of being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might…. Our Father doesn’t just give us a thimble-full of power, but his strengthen in all power (dynamos = inherent power; the power of reproducing itself: from which we have English dynamics, dynamo etc. – E.W. Bullinger, Companion Bible, 1922 p. 191 Appendixes). Then he adds, “according to his glorious might.” “Might” is another Greek word which also means power but it is defined by the same reference as Kratos = strength (as exerted); power put fort with effect, and in government by God). So in this entire passage as we grasp the over abundance of progressive movement and growth, the Lord assures us that we have been given strength according to His power and the might of His glory to accomplish whatever we are led by Him to accomplish. This wipes away any doubt in us, if we will allow it to do so, that we will be able to begin and complete that which has been worked in us through Him.

Therefore, the endurance and patience follows and we are able to dwell in joyful thanksgiving to the Father because in it all He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the Kingdom of Light. We are qualified to know Him experientially, to be filled with the full knowledge of His will in wisdom and understanding, to live life worthy and to please Him – in every way – all the time. We are strengthened and qualified to do all sorts of good works in His strength and might!

The last phrase is that our qualification is into the inheritance of the holy people in the Kingdom of light! What a privilege and inclusion. Let us not stay on the outside of this passage but begin to count ourselves inside the loop of all that He is and has chosen to give to us.

Helping Others

58e5291b1500002400c7e1d7“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:9-10 NIV

Once again we are working in this passage of Colossians. It seems like every word, or at least every phrase, has a richness in it that I do not want just to pass over. The part for today is the very last two phrases. We have worked with the rest of the passage listed here and have come to understand that it is the full-experiential knowledge of God that the Holy Spirit is talking about. So that our relationship and our interactions in Him are wrapped in His love, understanding, empowerment, and blessing. We are then empowered within to begin to allow the fruit of doing good to develop. Most of our development in Him is just with Him. However, here he has included what we do in that development process. We learn to experientially know more of our Father by spending time with Him doing good for other people.

Sometimes this calls for a real change in our thinking. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 9:8, And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” In other words, when we receive abundantly (speaking here of financial gain) it is for the purpose of helping others. Most of us will need to read the 2 chapters of 1 Corinthians 8-9 to see what is really being talked about. However, for this post it is enough to know the expectation of our Father is that we do good works and that opens the opportunity to richly abound in a very special relationship in the Father’s heart. He is not (and neither should we be) impressed with money or goods. He is, however, deeply moved by a heart of love that is bend on giving, and giving, and giving. It is not something that we do by ourselves, but something we do in Him, through Him, and with Him.

So when we produce the fruit through or in every good work, then we grow in the knowledge of God. That word knowledge is the same word used in verse nine. There he was praying they would be filled with the full-experiential knowledge of the Lord’s will, here it is the full-experiential knowledge of God Himself. As we read these verses, let’s see that it is one thing accessing another, then that accessing another, and another, and another. Each step opening the sight of another step and another concept in His love.

These wonders are awesome. Beloved, let’s sit with them and allow that understanding to filter through our own, until we are thinking like He thinks and allowing what He choses to do within us. He is awesome in every way, and He will do it, if we wish. Part of the result of our developing the fruit of good works is that we end up growing up in experiencing Him. We, in effect, have chosen to join Him in His work. Sweet!!!

Receiving the Exchange

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One of the things I notice as I walk in Jesus is that I often stumble over the difference between my perceived understanding of who I am and His understanding of who I am. My eyes are often on what is “true” in my understanding of my flesh. His is based on absolute truth according to His love for me and the placement He has given to me through that love. The obvious failings can so outweigh the Word in my heart that I must stop and repent of that stumbling. It is not humility that makes a choice to look at those things, it is sheer unbelief.

I often say “If He said it, then I believe it.” Yet on a day to day level, this is not always easy.

9“We continue to ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:9b-10 NIV

Living a life worthy and pleasing Him in every way, growing in the knowledge of God. WOW! That is a huge expectation from flesh people. Yes, it is! Yet, here it is and it is true. So, as I adjust my thinking to the thinking of my Lord through His Word, I become aware that He has made me “worthy” in every way, and that I please Him just because of who He is. Learning to live out that reality in His power is what the passage is talking about.

It has never been up to you or me. He always only awaits our permission, to move us and make real what Has been purchased through His sacrifice. As I choose Him, repeatedly, I make the permission real, and immediately it is true in me, of me, and about me.

Flesh will always argue, but faith will receive. So, as we continue through this passage, let us become receivers in our daily thinking. We can do all things that He asks because He lives within us and supplies us daily power – more than we can use.

Whatever the reluctance and whatever the seeming lack, remember 2 Peter 1:3.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” NIV

Next post – more on Colossians 1:9b-10. It’s too good to leave yet.