Summary: Part of my series in Colossians. Paul shares from the heart what it means to him to be serving Christ, encouraging us to serve him as well.
Colossians 1:24--2:5 – Serving with or without a smile
By James Galbraith
First Baptist Church, Port Alberni
October 7, 2007- Thanksgiving Sunday
Col 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Col 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Col 2:1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
A college professor tells of being invited to speak at a military base one December and there meeting an unforgettable soldier named Ralph.
Ralph had been sent to meet him at the airport, and after they had introduced themselves, they headed toward the baggage claim.
As they walked down the concourse, Ralph kept disappearing.
Once to help an older woman whose suitcase had fallen open.
Once to lift two toddlers up to where they could see Santa Claus.
And again to give directions to someone who was lost.
Each time he came back with a big smile on his face.
"Where did you learn to do that?" the professor asked.
"Do what?" Ralph said
"Where did you learn to live like that?"
"Oh," Ralph said, "during the war, I guess."
Then he told the professor about his tour of duty in Vietnam,
about how it was his job to clear mine fields, and how he watched his friends blow up before his eyes, one after another.
"I learned to live between steps," he said.
"I never knew whether the next one would be my last, so I learned to get everything I could out of the moment between when I picked up my foot and when I put it down again. Every step I took was a whole new world, and I guess I’ve just been that way ever since."
The abundance of our lives is not determined by how long we live,
but how well we live it.
Christ makes abundant life possible if we choose to live it now,
and part of the key to that abundance is learning to serving others,
in good times and bad.
In the previous passage in Colossians, Paul has just finished sharing one of the most powerful descriptions of Christ you will ever find.