27 February 2018

Hi everyone and welcome to Tuesday’s Podcast here at STC.

This week we ask ‘Is it possible to change?’ Things need to change; we so need good and Godly change – not just in me but in us, in our society. Yesterday we reflected that real change only comes through Jesus; change is personal, it begins with me. Today’s question – will you receive Christ this day?

REFLECTION

Here at STC we often ask the question ‘How is life’ on a scale 1 – 10?

Life is not always easy. John Lennon said: ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’ What are we looking for in life? Most people are looking for more than more stuff! Perhaps best described by the word ‘hope’? Our reading today is Col 1:24 – 29 and the focus verse is v27 ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’.

Christianity is Christ – The meaning of life is found in Jesus Christ. Hope is found in Jesus Christ. The former Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, Graham Kentfield, once said, ‘I am clear that the meaning of life can only be properly understood in the context of our relationship with God.’ How we see Jesus Christ is so crucial because Christianity is Christ.

Many years ago, when I was exploring Christianity, friends took Tricia and myself to their church. I heard the preacher say this in his sermon: ‘There is a Christ shaped hole within us; there will always be an emptiness in your life until it is filled by Christ living within you – will you receive Christ this day?’. That was the invitation always given after he’d preached by the great evangelist Billy Graham, who died this week: ‘Will you receive Christ this day?’ The truth experienced by millions over the years is that as you put your faith in Jesus, he comes to live within you by his Spirit; he fills that hole in the soul and brings you hope and peace. In that moment you receive ‘the glorious riches of this mystery’ and you have ‘the hope of glory’ (v.27).

Paul is in prison writing this letter (1:24). He has a clear calling, to speak of the mystery that was kept hidden but is now revealed (v.26). God has ‘chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (v.27).

This passage highlights how Paul’s entire life, thinking and preaching are focussed on Jesus Christ and making him known. Is it possible to change? We change when we personally receive Jesus Christ into our lives – in that moment, life transformation begins.

‘Will you receive Christ this day’? I answered that preacher’s call all those years ago and became a Christian; however, I answer that call every day of my life – every day I receive Jesus Christ afresh. I was saved in that moment I first received him into my life – I am becoming more like him as every day I receive him afresh.

So, how is life today 1 – 10? Life is not easy – each day has its challenges. ‘Smile at everyone you meet as you don’t know what burdens they are carrying’. Personally, some days I feel ill equipped to face these challenges, but then God reminds me ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ and I know the truth that I face the challenges with ‘all his energy, which so powerfully works in me’. (v29).

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, thank you for you invitation to live your life every day. Thank you that it is possible because you live in me. I receive you into my life this day. Whatever this day brings I know I face it with you. Amen

READING: COLOSSIANS 1:24-29

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering 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. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 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.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.