I Believe In Prayer

Praying for Branch County and Beyond

Once Upon A Time

Colossians 1:21-23

Have you ever seen, “before and after” pictures: weight loss; cosmetic surgery; especially storm pictures such as the Tsunami in Japan or the more recent Hurricane Sandy? You may find the difference in the before and after effects hard to believe.

It may be similar with seeing the “before and after” effects in a believer’s life.

Have you ever felt alienated from God? Or felt there was a chasm between you and God; felt no connection to God at all; asked why did this happen? Why is this the case?

The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Church at Colossae about an amazing “before and after.”

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But, now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”

What can make the difference in our lives? It is the Gospel of hope, the Gospel meaning “Good News,” that the apostle Paul shares with us. We, who were “once upon a time” alienated from God, have been reconciled, or as the Webster dictionary explains it, have been restored to “friendship or harmony.”

Paul used “contractual” language, making clear that one has this hope if one continues in faith, established and firm, and “does not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” He said if one does not move from the hope held out in the gospel, then one will be reconciled. That is good news!

He has given each of us a strong foundation in our HOPE in Him. Paul tells us not to move away from that strong foundation offered us in Christ. Look at the words Paul uses in verse 22: “without blemish and free from accusation.” This is at the heart of what Paul declares in his letter to the Roman church: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). Paul pictures us as Christ sees us in the aftermath of His amazing grace. That is our real HOPE.

D.R.

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