Looking Up January 3-7

Jesus reigns supreme over all creation. All things were created through Him and for Him. He rules over the seen and the unseen—the physical and the spiritual world. From the foundation of the world, He has authority over the created realm. By defeating death, Jesus rules over it and made a way for us to be reconciled to God. His sacrifice solidifies His supremacy. From your salvation to your work to your inner thoughts, Jesus has authority over it all. With these truths in mind, we can embrace the challenge Paul gives to the Colossians to pursue maturity. Take time to consider whether or not your life reflects the supremacy of Jesus. Are there any areas of your life that you need to submit in surrender to Jesus’ authority?

Each week our pastors are challenging you to put one thing into practice. Last week’s “put it into practice” was: Find someone who is more spiritually mature “in Christ” and learn how they continue to mature in their faith. This week: Keep track of how you act in ways that reflect that Christ is in you this week and when you don’t. Specific actions: Morning prayer: Jesus, show me how I’m reflecting You today and show me when I’m not. Evening: Reflect on your day and journal the results.

Day 1     Colossians 1:15-20

Reflect:  What is the significance of the statements in verses 15 and 19? How does Paul further testify to Jesus’ supremacy? Why do you think he focuses on this?

Apply:  How does this passage cause you to see Jesus differently? How have you struggled with the truth that Jesus is God? Does knowing God is Jesus change how you view Him?

Pray:    God, we have not seen You. But You have shown us Jesus, and because we have seen Him, we have seen You. Help me grasp what it means that all things in heaven and on earth, hold together through Him.

Day 2    Colossians 1:21-23

Reflect: What are the past, present and future aspects of the Gospel presented in this text? What are our responsibilities as reconciled people (verse 23)?

Apply:   What is the difference between knowing Jesus as Savior and knowing Jesus as Lord? Is salvation a past transaction or an ongoing reality in your life? Explain.

Pray:    Father, thank You for loving me enough to not only save me in Jesus, but to also call me   to holiness. I regret the times when I viewed holiness as too demanding or harsh. May the    wonder of this glorious truth invigorate me for Your glory.

Day 3     Colossians 1:24-29

Reflect:  For what is Paul working and suffering so much? What is the mystery he speaks of and why is it so precious?

Apply:    Do you think more about God being with you or in you? What are the implications of Christ in you? How are you at proclaiming Jesus? Encouraging others to grow in Him?

Pray:     God, thank You for all the truths that are contained in Your word. Awaken me to the mystery of Christ in me and encourage others to do the same.

Day 4    Colossians 2:1-5

Reflect: How does knowing Paul’s struggles for them help to encourage, unify and reassure them? What does Paul’s encouragement and truths about Christ do for the church?

Apply:   How does this passage personally speak to you? Is there someone to whom you could     write similar words, especially verses 4-5? What well-crafted arguments have you         overcome?

Pray:    Father, thank You for Jesus who is the truth. Grant me a discerning mind so that I neither mislead nor am misled but rather love in truth and am truthful in love.

Day 5     Colossians 2:6-15

Reflect:  According to this text, what happens when a person accepts Christ? What is the source of deceptive philosophies and how do we guard against them? Paraphrase verse 9.

Apply:    Do you still struggle with comprehending forgiveness of sin? Reread verses 13-15 do you understand that your sinful nature has been cut away? What changes occurred?

Pray:     Father, through the shed blood of Your dearly beloved Son, You have set me free from  the power of sin and death that I may love and live in Christ so He will live through me.