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The Way In, Is The Way Onward

Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (NIVUK)

The gospel is clear: the only way to God's presence is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).  But if He is the way in, why do so many Christians not go on in Christ?  Some are glad to grasp God's grace and forgiveness, but then fail to grow spiritually.  Others start in grace but soon make their faith an exercise in legalism. Still others are swept away by ideas of living a more comfortable life.  Jesus’ parable of the Sower uncovers the reason why God’s Word may not grow in many hearts (Luke 8:4-15).  

But the Apostle Paul has God's authority to say that we start with Christ as Saviour and we must continue with Him as Lord ... and all by receiving His grace.  It is Christ who comes into us, making our hearts a home for God (John 14:23): and so we should expect that He will share every part of our lives.  It is only right that our Saviour should be our Lord - to direct us, as well as comforting us and providing for us.  But we must desire that He is at the centre of our lives.

It is our choice to live in Christ or slip back into living in the world.  It is also our choice to put our roots deep into Him and be built up in Him, or we will fall.  It is our choice to let Him make us strong in faith and to be thankful, or we will fail.  If we do not make Christ-centred choices, we will be overcome by the world, flesh or devil, which are all ready and willing to suggest a way ahead without Jesus.  Much of the apostles’ teaching was to guard the church against making the wrong choices, and encourage believers to cooperate with the Lord (Acts 20:28-31).
Today, whatever your circumstances, decide that you will allow Jesus Christ to be the leader of your life.  Continue to live in His grace, rely on His mercy, trust in His provision and accept His guidance.  At the same time, reject the relentless temptation to manage without Him, or to follow what you think is 'better guidance' than His.  Be confident to go where He leads, even if you cannot see; be satisfied with what you have today because you can trust Him for tomorrow.  In these ways you will grow in faith.  And practise being thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), not just on the good days!  This is the kind of lifestyle which attracts unbelievers to hear and receive the gospel, because it is authentic from the beginning to the end.

Almighty God. Thank You for helping me to put my faith in Jesus for my eternal salvation. Forgive me for allowing other ideas to govern my life, and when I insist on living by my own rules. Help me to realise that the same Jesus who saved me is with me to lead me. May I allow Him into every part of my life so that I will grow strong in faith and be an authentic witness to the power of the gospel in the places where I live and work. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams