“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.” Colossians 1:3-6a NIV
Please forgive me if I just “camp out” a bit more in this passage. I realize I have already written on one aspect of it, but before we leave there is another that “springs up” at me.
The faith and love he mentions here come from the hope stored up for them in heaven. I find it very interesting how things are linked together in the Word. The faith and love he is talking about (that they are effectively using) are by-products of the hope that is being stored up for them in heaven. That is awesome to ponder.
The Biblical word “hope” does not mean what we usually think it means. In our culture, it is often used in a “wish” type phrase – like, “I certainly hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” Such usage is not the Biblical meaning of the word. In the New Testament, this word means “confident expectation.” It is closely related in meaning to “faith.” In fact, “trust” is a definition of hope in some places, which is part of the definition of faith.
So, this “hope” that has been given to us in the person of Jesus Christ – living inside of us, is the container for faith and love that is shared and enjoyed among us. Jesus is truly the gift that never quits giving. The longer I study the Word, the more I discover what has been gifted to me and I thought all along I needed to get it.
For instance, the Fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5:22-23 are all byproducts of living in a conscious willingness in the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t come from training my will, nor does it come from purposeful prayer and study. (All those may be involved on a Spirit dimension, but are not primary). These Spirit-Fruit items are by-products of dwelling with the Holy Spirit and learning His ways in Jesus. They are produced (as the fruit is on a tree) as a byproduct of healthy Spirit relating.
There are many, many things that are results of our oneness in Jesus. The renewal of the mind occurs as we interface in the Holy Spirit in learning to think like the Holy Spirit in the mind of Christ. The word “renewal” means “a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better.” This renewal is a by-product of the Spirit’s work in us as we devote ourselves to the Word. It is not an intellectual exercise, even though the mind is always used in its reception and release. However, the mind is not the primary muscle used. Instead, it is our Spirit in oneness in Him. This is an awesome gift.
On and on it can go. As you read and study, notice what is linked to other items. Later in the book, we will discover another link to this love that has come from hope – the one given to us.
Lord Jesus, today as we live our moments, we choose to live them in a conscious awareness of your Spirit presence within us. Begin to unfold in us what is stored up for us in the heavens as we choose to love and bless our world through your breath. Be magnified in us as we breathe.