Scripture: Zoom in on Colossians 1:24-29. In other words, really drill down here.
You probably have a question about Paul’s words, “I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the church.” What could possibly be lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the church? Simple: we are united with Christ, and as such He includes our part in His plan. Every disciple of Christ is called upon to sacrifice and even suffer at times in order to forgive, love, and serve…for our goal is the same as Paul’s: “to present everyone mature in Christ.” We want everyone around us to live into his or her destiny.
Can you see yourself as having the same life-purpose as Paul? Don’t let the word “minister” put distance between your calling and Paul’s. It should be translated “servant.” You are Christ’s servant, and you have a stewardship from God that was given to you for others. You are just as called as Paul to make “the word of God fully known,” only your method will differ. It is the same stewardship issue.
How will you do this? In one sense the same way Paul’s stewardship played out: Christ in him. It will be the same with you: Christ in you. The gospel not only saves you; it empowers you to live out the purpose of your life. There are many times when you will be pushed to the limit in order to help others find Christ or to grow up in Him. Paul is a disciple. So are you.
1. What are some of the ways it has cost you to serve God? ________________________________
2. Are you rejoicing in what it costs you to love, serve, and witness for Christ? _________________
3. Can you see how Paul’s description of his life might just as well be applied to your life?
4. In Philippians 1:12 Paul sees his prison time as a way of helping others to be saved. I call this “reframing,” in which you see your life situation through God’s lens. How might you reframe your current life situation? _________________________________________________________
5. What is the Spirit of God saying to you? ______________________________________________
- Begin by giving thanks to God for revealing Christ to you.
- Be still for a few moments and let it sink in: Christ lives in me. He is my hope.
- Own your identity as God’s servant with a stewardship.
- Pray for your church to live into the high calling of reaching this generation.