Mighty God in Our Lives

Mighty

Bible Reading — Colossians 1:9-14

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

How is it that we have the power and know-how to put someone on the moon, but we cannot get along with our neighbours, family, or work colleagues, or we can’t overcome our weaknesses or addictions?

Sometimes we act as if we are powerless and the situation is hopeless, “I couldn’t help myself”, becomes our mantra. But we need not go down in defeat.

Jesus came not only to save us in our sin but also to save us from our sins. Jesus is Mighty God, come to bring us new life in his transforming power. He is at work in us, bringing forgiveness, renewal, and empowerment.

Our passage describes God’s children as being rescued “from the dominion of darkness” and brought into “the kingdom of light.” In this way God calls us to live worthy and pleasing lives for our Saviour. Our lives can be fruitful and flourishing.

This passage challenges us to responsibility but also reminds us that the source of our power and victory is God, “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might.”

Prayer

Mighty God, we surrender our lives to you. Thank you that we need not go down in defeat. Fill us with your power, that we may live a life worthy of you, our Saviour. Amen.

Amazing Grace, John Newton (1779)

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Most of us have heard the familiar words, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” The author of the hymn was, by his own admission, a “wretch.”  He was a slave trader, a blasphemer, a rebel, an immoral man, a torturer, and as far from grace as anyone could ever be. As a boy, John was captivated by the adventure and risk of life on the high seas. When he was eleven, young John Newton launched into that exciting life of voyaging, sailing, and living his dream. But the dream turned out to be a nightmare. Later in life he wrote, “I sinned with a high hand, and I made it my study to tempt and seduce others.” Newton lived a hard life with hard consequences. God got his attention though. In 1748, Newton’s slave ship was nearly wrecked by an intense storm. In the tempest, surrounded by crashing waves, cutting winds, creaking timbers, and the cries of on-board slaves, John fell to his knees and pled for mercy, and for grace. God’s grace, which reaches anyone, anywhere, saved a wretch like John Newton. Newton wrote the song years later while serving as a pastor in Olney, England. Today, its lyrics still inspire, encourage, and instruct people about God’s amazing grace.

Good Example

Example

 

Bible Reading — You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who…also told us of your love in the Spirit. Colossians 1:7-8

The opening lines of Paul’s letter to the Colossians are filled with praise. The good news of salvation and new life in Christ was spreading throughout the region, and the community was overflowing with God’s love.

Epaphras played an instrumental role in starting the church in Colossae. He faithfully shared the gospel message with the people and helped them understand the hope to which God had called them. He helped the people understand God’s grace.

When we understand grace, we see others differently. We develop love and generosity for our brothers and sisters because that is what God has given us. By God’s grace we are forgiven our sins and given new life to enjoy with God forever, guided by his Holy Spirit.

For the Colossian church, God’s grace was transforming their world. They were producing the fruit of the Spirit, the gospel message was going out into the world, and people were coming to faith.

Part of our role in mentoring ­others is to help them understand the message of God’s grace. Once we have understood the depths of God’s grace for us, we want others to know it too. Have you shared with ­others the grace you have experienced? Tell someone today how God has been gracious to you!

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your never-failing grace that does not treat us as our sins deserve. Thank you for loving, forgiving, and calling us to live for you. May we always marvel at your unfailing grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Thomas Chisholm (1923)

Great

It’s inspiring to hear about hymns that were written in extraordinary circumstances — thunderstorms, shipwrecks, or life-shaking events. Still, not every great hymn was written in the throes of danger or the heights of exultation. In fact, one of the greatest, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” was written by an ordinary man in an ordinary situation in the ordinary ups and downs of life. Thomas Chisholm was a pastor for one year, but for most of his life, he worked as an insurance agent. He was born in humble means in Kentucky, struggled with health problems, and worked hard to make ends meet the rest of his life. He wrote, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.” This hymn for the ordinary Christian is about an extraordinary God. Rich or poor, we all can say, “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.”

ROCKS AND DIAMONDS

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The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. —PSALM 18:2

The story is told of a preacher named Augustus Toplady, who was taking a walk through the English countryside when a sudden storm swept across the landscape. Toplady spotted a wide rock formation with an opening—a cleft—where he sought shelter until the storm passed. As he sat out the deluge, he contemplated the connection between his shelter and God’s help in life’s storms. He had no paper on which to write, but he found a playing card on the floor of the cave like structure and began to write the words to the beloved hymn “Rock of Ages. “Written on that stormy day in 1775, this hymn has been a source of strength for Christians ever since. Rock of ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thiele the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure. Think of your struggles. Do you need a place to hide? Do you need someone to shelter you from life’s assaults? Do you need the assurance that you’ve been forgiven? Don’t stand out in life’s storms alone. Seek God’s shelter. Ask Him to protect you.