Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Evangelism: Church’s Primary CommissionBible portion: Colossians 1:24-29
Christ our Companion in the New Year and Beyond.
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 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.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
In verse 24 Paul says “I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions “he does not mean that Christ’s suffering was inadequate or there is a predetermined suffering that must be paid by all believers. He must be saying, that suffering is unavoidable in bringing the Good News to the world. This suffering is called Christs suffering because Christians are related to Christ and when we suffer Christ suffers too. In verse 27 it says “He is in us” and so, He feels the pain that we endure.
Paul says he rejoices in his suffering and rightly enough we too should rejoice in our suffering, cause as we suffer it takes our eyes off the earthly comforts and helps us focus on God. It weeds out our superficial beliefs and strengthens our faith. Our attitude in our suffering serves as an example to the world around us.
Paul emphasizes in verse 28 that our mission is to proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom. Our goal is to present to God, everyone whom we are in contact with as mature believers in Christ. Our calling is not just for personal growth alone but to also contribute to the growth of the entire body of believers.
And in verse 29, He very clearly states that he strenuously contends not in His own energy but in the strength Christ gives. We too, have the Holy Spirit that gives us the strength we need as we proclaim the Good news to the world around us.
To summarize, Paul in his suffering, rejoiced as he preached and taught the Colossian church in the middle of various false teachings. He did not only have to deal with physical suffering but also mental struggles as he dealt with a very tough congregation.
So, as we meditate on this Word and try to put into practice what Paul preached to the Colossian church, we pray,
:Heavenly Father, as we proclaim your Good News to the World you have placed us in, help us to endure the sufferings we go through joyfully knowing the purpose with which you have placed them. Give us also the grace to see you walk with us and strengthen us as we grow and help our fellow Christians mature in You. We pray this in the Mighty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mrs Veena Thomas
The Mar Thoma Church Staten Island