Growing in Christ

You make decisions. There are consequences for your decisions.

Paul prays for the Colossian church and says, “That you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10

You decide whether you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. For 48 years as a pastor I have listened to those who are shocked that they find themselves suffering from the consequences of their own decisions.

Sin is pleasure for the moment and then consequences for a lifetime.

Day to day you will decide whether to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. How do you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord? Paul explains in Colossians 1:10 that you need to develop three attitudes:

Please Him in all respects.  Another way to say this is “whatever it takes.” If you want to achieve straight A’s in school, win an Academy Award, or just have a great family, you need a “whatever it takes” attitude. Staying focused, eliminating distractions.

Both of my daughters had a “whatever it takes” attitude toward God’s callings on their lives while they were growing up. Neither dated seriously through high school or college until they were well along their career/calling path. They both looked at dating as a huge distraction.

Bearing fruit in every good work.  Good fruit doesn’t mystically happen. There must be sowing, fertilizing, pruning, and harvesting. As Paul says, “…good work”. The most successful people that I know have a sense of the “good work” in their lives.

Good work is both short-term and long-term. This is a difficult and confusing concept.  Successful people often discuss how they had long term plans and then they did something seemingly inconsequential – or short term – and it changed their life. A housewife/mother who went on a short-term mission trip and then sold her house to become a missionary. A worker in a bank, when it was suggested that he focus on fishing, did just that and eventually built a world-wide business.

You have your long-term plans. God has His plans too. Always look for work that bears good fruit.

Increasing in the knowledge of Him.  This is better translated “growing in your intimacy of Him!” Are you growing in Christ? You will know this by intimacy.

I have listened to couples describe their relationship as distant. Is your relationship with Jesus distant? What can you do? You can grow! Remember, you decide. All relationships increase from a determination to grow through difficulty.

Paul prays that the Colossians would have a passion for Jesus that would be “whatever it takes” – both short and long term –  “to grow in intimacy!”

This is Paul’s prayer for you too.

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