Abide In Me

This is the second in a series on abiding in me as Jesus said. The Apostle Paul uses the term in Christ 53 times throughout Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. He discloses the benefits, blessings, new character, and empowerment that accompany being in Christ. Our citizenship in heaven is by faith in Christ.

Faith

Paul tells believers that by faith in Christ, they are justified and become sons of God. Plus, their faith working through love brings them in to a special relationship with the Father, . . . so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:14b NASB).

The author of Hebrews gives us a deeper understanding of faith:

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.  By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:1-3 Amplified).

Strength

Paul hears reports of believers’ good discipline and the stability of their faith (Colossians 2:5). He rejoices at their new character and growth as they mature in Christ. The apostle affirms believers even when he cannot be with them to teach and encourage them himself.

Mystery

Paul tells believers there is something special and powerful with their position in Christ. It’s a mystery hidden for generations—Christ lives in you! This gives you assurance of sharing his glory (Colossians 1:26,27b). What a glorious promise. Our citizenship in heaven is by faith in Christ.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your plan that Christ could live in us. I praise you for providing this glorious way to be in relationship with you.

God Hears Prayers

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, the angel said, “God has heard your prayer” Luke 1:13 Eyewitness.

Eyewitness: Numbers 6:3, Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:5-25, pp.18,19
In your Bible: Numbers 6:3, Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:5-25

The ancestry of Joseph and Mary is recorded in Matthew and Luke. The ancestry of Zechariah and Elizabeth is also recorded in Luke. The sons of these two couples would turn the hearts of man back to the Father God. Selah.

Prayers Heard by God

Zechariah and Elizabeth were very old and considered beyond the age of child bearing. However, they continued to pray for a son. Zechariah was chosen by lot to fulfill his priestly duties at the Temple. As he entered the Holy Place to burn incense, an angle appeared before him and spoke to him. “Do not to be afraid, Zechariah,” the angel said. “God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a son. You must name him John” (Luke 1:13 Eyewitness).

Yes, Zechariah was paralyzed with fear and he questioned the angel if this message was possible. “I am Gabriel, sent from God to bring you this good news. Because you have not believed me, you will be unable to speak a word until the day of your son’s birth” (Luke 1:19a Eyewitness).

A Priest and a Message

Gabriel told Zechariah the mystery about this child:

  • He will bring great joy to his parents (v 14)
  • Many will rejoice at his birth (v 14)
  • He will be recognized by God as a great man (v 15)
  • But, he must never drink wine or fermented beverages (v 15)
  • Before birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit (v 15)
  • He will turn many Israelites back to the Lord their God (v 16)

More of what this child would do:

  • Go in the spirit and power of Elijah (v 17)
  • Soften the hearts of fathers to their children (v 17)
  • Cause the rebellious to accept godly wisdom (v 17)
  • Prepare the people [Jews and Gentiles] for the Lord’s coming (17)

Zechariah and Elizabeth rejoiced in the miraculous answer to their prayer. They knew this child was a gift from God. No longer did they bear the disgrace of childlessness. Against Jewish tradition, but as the messenger told them, they named their son John.

Prayer: Father, thank you the promise of hearing our prayers.

Questions: How do you know God hears your prayers? When is it right to question God? Or is it?

Christ In You

[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15 Amplified Bible).

Colossians 1:15-27 Amplified Bible
Colossians 1:15-27 New Living Translation
Colossians 1:27 NIV
Colossians 1:15-27 In your Bible

The supremacy of Jesus, Son of God, is Paul’s focus now. This teaching puts us in awe of what God has done through Jesus.

The Supremacy of Jesus

Colossians 1:15-20 proclaims an incredible list who Jesus is. Read it slowly.

  • All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus
  • Jesus is before all things and in him all things hold together
  • Jesus is the head of the body, the church
  • In everything Jesus has supremacy
  • All the fullness of God dwells in Christ Jesus
  • Through Jesus, God reconciles all things to himself
  • God made peace with all things through Christ’s blood, shed on the cross

The Mystery

Paul declares the hidden message of God’s love. Read this slowly also.

This message [mystery] was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory (Colossians 1:26,27 New Living Translation).

There is no greater assurance for the believer—none. Christ is the fullness of God, head of the church, and our reconciler to God. To him be the glory (and we share in it)!

Prayer: Father, I stand in awe of you. Your Spirit discloses Jesus to me. I’m still amazed. Selah.

Question: Does the list of the supremacy of Jesus (Col 1:15-27) open your eyes to the mystery of Christ in you and your the hope of glory in Christ Jesus (Col 1:27 NIV)?