How would you fill in the blank?

“The thing I want most for my child or grandchild is ________________” …

  • Excellence in athletic pursuits
  • good academic skills
  • success in their careers
  • a fulfilling marriage and family

How you answer that question reveals what you value most in life.

Growing up, I never doubted what my parents wanted most for me.  It was clearly spelled out in their bedroom, underneath a picture of my brother and sister and me — 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”

I knew from the beginning that my parents wanted me to conduct my life in a way that was obedient to Christ.  They knew that every good blessing in life flowed out of a right relationship with God.

The Apostle Paul expressed that same thought about his spiritual children, the Christians at Colossae.  And today, it’s my prayer for you, too.  Because no matter what you’re facing this very moment — no matter the challenges, the opportunities, the frustrations, the victories …

Everything you need …
Everything you desire …
Is completely satisfied in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ has sufficiently saved you.  He has sufficiently secured your future.  And He, alone, has sufficiently empowered you to live a victorious life.

So let me ask you: how is your relationship with Christ?  Do the words “strong,” “vibrant” and “healthy” come to mind?  Or perhaps today, words like “tired,” “ritualistic” or “stagnant” would be the best description you could muster.

I want to help you regain the power and joy of living in the Lord.  I’m going to share THREE SIMPLE APPLICATIONS with you, from the Book of Colossians, taken straight from the pages of God’s Word, to help you grow strong in Christ.

Be pure in your doctrine

What do you believe?  Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to construct their own religion — erase what they don’t like about Christianity — keep the parts they do like — mix and merge differing belief systems until religion is more of an experience than a core relationship.

It’s especially prevalent today.  Religion has become a whole new “do-it-yourself” project.  I can’t warn you strongly enough: be careful not to construct your own religious beliefs.  What you believe determines how you behave.  Stand on God’s Word — and His Word alone.

Everything you need to know about Heaven and Hell, about God and Satan, about life and eternity is found in the person of Jesus Christ and in His Word.  God doesn’t allow you to “pick and choose” which parts of the Bible you believe.  He alone is sufficient for you.  As Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Him all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form and in Him you have been made complete.”  If you desire a vibrant, healthy, joy-filled life, then know your message and your mission.  Be pure in your doctrine.

Be mature in your faith  

Colossians 2:6-7 admonishes, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, overflowing with gratitude.”

It is your responsibility to cultivate and nourish your spiritual life.  Jesus Christ is the spiritual soil perfect for your growth.  But you have to build yourself up in the faith.  You have to cultivate your relationship with God through scripture reading, church attendance, prayer and worship in order to produce fruit.

Be committed to ministry

The Apostle Paul is clear: one mark of true spiritual maturity is that you’re not just sitting in Church, soaking in the message and soaring on God’s truth … you are sharing it with others!  Colossians 3:16 says “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  You will never be complete in your relationship in Christ until ministry — that is, sharing Christ with others — is the central focus of your life.

I recently had the privilege of hearing the incredibly moving testimony of Sujo John, a survivor of 9/11.  Sujo was in the first Trade Center tower and miraculously, God provided a way for him to escape that burning building before it collapsed.  His entire testimony — and his witness on that fateful day — is tremendous … but in the course of sharing with us, Sujo said something I will never forget.  He said,

“If nineteen hijackers were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to perpetrate the lie of Islam, how much more should we who know the truth be willing to sacrifice to spread the truth of Jesus Christ?”

The Bible says if you are truly a believer, if you’re mature in your faith, that’s the kind of commitment that will saturate your life: a commitment to ministry — to spreading the truth of Jesus Christ, no matter the personal cost.

Jesus Christ is 100% sufficient for you. He sufficiently saved you.  There’s no need to add to the finished work of Christ.  He has sufficiently secured you.  There’s no need to fear falling away.  And Jesus Christ has sufficiently empowered you to live a victorious life.