Summary: Feeling like something is missing in your life? Maybe you shouldn't. Or maybe you should! What really completes a person?
Colossians 2:8-10: In Christ you Have it All
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
My smallest child was crying uncontrollably and I couldn't figure out why. She was sitting on the floor surrounded by a very simple puzzle. And something was very wrong.
Can you guess what it was? She couldn't find a puzzle piece. The puzzle was almost complete - you could see the pictures of the dinosaurs and the volcano and the sky and the water - but right in the middle - there was one piece missing. And so she was wailing at the top of her lungs. We needed to find that puzzle piece, and so the search began. It wasn't easy, and it took a lot of time - but somehow, by the grace of God, we found it, and she was able to complete the puzzle, and there was finally peace in our house, at least, for a little while.
Have you put your life all together yet? Isn't life sometimes like a puzzle? You're trying to put all the pieces of your life together - you have your health - your career - your personal life, your family - you have your spiritual life, your relationship with God - the list of the puzzle pieces of life could go on and on and on - and you're trying to put it all together. If you're younger and you're in school - you're trying to put together good grades, maybe sports, maybe music, the friends, your life with your family, your life with God, your part time job - you're trying to put it all together.
Do you have it all together yet? Sometimes when people say yes, they're saying yes for the wrong reason: "Yes, I have it all together - good job, good family, good health, good friends - I have it all together" - but you're missing a piece of the puzzle, you're missing God - and maybe you don't even know it. Sometimes people say no, I don't have it all together - and maybe you don't, from an earthly point of view - maybe you are lacking something when it comes to your health or your personal life or your career - but spiritually, from God's point of view - you may have it all together more than you think.
Let's see what God says to us on this topic as we look at Colossians chapter 2, verses 8-10. The Apostle Paul writes these words to Christians living in the first century, and these words apply to us very much today. Paul writes, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
Christians back in those days were being told that they were lacking something. "It's nice that you believe in Jesus, but you're missing some big pieces of the puzzle of life. The things you believe about God are outdated, not really relevant. And Jesus? He's a nice person, but don't get too focused on him. There's so much more - you're missing it." And so the Christians were starting to abandon their faith in Jesus. They were looking for something bigger, better, something that felt more modern, more exciting - but the philosophy being shared with them was hollow and deceptive, Paul writes.
Can you see this today? People come to church. They hear about Jesus. They believe! But then they fall away - why? People don't come to church, but they hear that there was a man named Jesus who died on a cross and rose from the dead. The think about it, and then they push Jesus away - why? Why do we sometimes get bored with Jesus Christ? "Yeah, he died on the cross for my sins - but I'm looking for something more. I'm trying to put the pieces of my life together, and this whole Jesus thing - it's not really helping me."
See to it that no one takes you captive with hollow and deceptive philosophy, Paul says. I start to get interested in evolution, which pushes God out of the picture - and makes me into a God. I start to believe the media, which tells me that God's design for sexuality and marriage - that's all outdated - just follow your heart - whatever you want to do is fine - I start to believe it, and that philosophy once again makes me into a God. I start to focus my life on money, and popularity, and pleasure - I'm just trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, and I'm pushing Jesus Christ out of the picture. Have you ever done that? You can do that. But eventually, not right away, but eventually, you realize that you've been lied to. The philosophy is deceptive. Evolution, homosexuality, focusing on money, popularity, pleasure - making yourself into a God - you realize that you've been lied to. You realize that you're missing something. You're not as happy as you thought you'd be. Perhaps you're miserable, you're embarrassed. You know something is missing.