Paul begins his letter to the church in Colossae with a note of thanks. He is grateful to hear about the initial spiritual progress of the believers. He celebrates their faith. We too should always celebrate starter faith.
Paul first gives thanks for their faith and love. Faith in Christ should make a difference in how we act. It should evidence itself in a giving love. This love is not a feeling, but something we give. It may be we give our time, talents, or treasure.
The faith and love of the new Jesus-followers is tied to the hope of Christ, “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” (Colossians 1.5). The new believers understood there is life beyond this life.
Often we make one of two mistakes. We either put an emphasis on the next life, living however we want in this life; or we put an emphasis on this life, ignoring the next. A balanced perspective sees God as active and desiring to rescue us today, while also understanding we are secure in the life to come. This balance is important because there are some scars we experience in this life that will only completely heal when we are with Jesus in the next life.
As you spend time in the Chair today, consider the role of faith, hope, and love in your life. Senior Teaching Pastor Jeff Manion had you circle these words in your The New You journal this weekend. (Click here for PDF version.) In the margins of your journal, next to each word, write two or three ways you have seen faith, hope, and love evidenced in your life and/or in the lives of those close to you. Like Paul, thank God for those things.