God Bearing Fruit in Our Hope, Not Our Feelings
…because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.Colossians 1:5-8 ESV Read More
True hope is a beautiful thing. There is a lot of pop culture hope that is hope for the sake of hope. Like faith for the sake of faith, the object or outcome of the hope and faith are where the real depth of the hope and faith come from. The Colossians are being reminded of the real hope that is being stored up for them in Heaven.
That hope that they have is contagious. As they live out of their hope in Jesus Christ, people see it and ask and the kingdom grows. This process of bearing fruit and increasing has been going on since the early 20s AD. Across cultures, across languages, across mountains, the number one way that the gospel spreads is person to person. The Colossians heard and understood the grace of God in truth and it grew out from there.
What if you took a day a week to put aside any thought of lost people, evangelism, witnessing, teams, worship, or any other religious part of your life and sat in the truth that the grace of God is true. Missionary training programs call this ’Self-care’ because you can’t be an effective missionary if you aren’t ministering to the Lord yourself. Jesus said ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’ and He knew what He was talking about.
Hearing and understanding the grace of God in truth is a lifelong process. We were talking about the growth process from the Reveal survey and people that are “close to Christ” or “Christ-centered.” Those two groups are constantly moving back and forth from one category to another as they grow. Knowing the grace of God is true makes you pursue the righteousness of Christ, then see where you fall short. You realize that you aren’t as “Christ-Centered” as you thought and then you pursue Him more. That pursuit characterizes you as “Christ-Centered” again and the process repeats.
That is the Hope of knowing that the gospel of Christ is true. However we feel, whatever we achieve, God is at work bearing fruit in us as we are close to Him.
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