Verse 2 – Written in Red

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19‭-‬20 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.28.19-20.NIV

JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 6)

Let’s begin today with our scripture in the NLT version: “3 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”

Paul is telling the Colossians about the new way Christ intended them to live. He points us all to Christ’s resurrection and His place in heaven at the right hand of God, along with the promise that we will be hidden with Him in this new way of life. But, Jesus never intended for us to wait until He returns to change the way we live. He intended for us to live now on earth as we will live one day with Him when He returns. Then the world will see Him in all His glory.

We can see how he intended us to live here on earth by checking out what He taught His disciples. When he left earth for heaven, He didn’t tell them to find a safe place and wait for Him to come back. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus told them to go and make disciples everywhere, teaching them to obey everything He taught. So, we can set our hearts and minds on all that will bring glory to God and count for eternity, reaching out with love, generosity, and forgiveness, and growing in the fruit of the Spirit. 

Reflection Question(s)

Who may God be calling you to reach out to with His love and compassion?

What is one take-away you’ve gleaned from this week’s devotionals?

Prayer 

Jesus, I’m so thankful for Your love and Your promises. I look forward to the day I will see You face to face and behold Your glory. Today, show me someone in my life who needs to know they are loved and cared for like You love and care for me. Open a door for me to reach out to them to be Your hands extended. I want to live now the way I will live when You return. 

JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 5)

As I continue to look at our four verses for this week, I’m drawn to verse 3: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” My old life, which focused on my own sinful desires when I lived for the world, was crucified when I gave my heart to Jesus. Now, in Jesus, I have available the power not to sin. I’m forgiven and loved by Him and I’m a new creation in Him. 

I think of that change much like a butterfly’s metamorphosis. The caterpillar crawls on the ground a fully developed creature. It eats and lives, and for a time all is well. But at a certain point, it builds a cocoon around itself. Inside it goes through some amazing changes. At just the right time the cocoon begins to split and the caterpillar, becoming a butterfly, must struggle to crawl out. If someone tries to help it by opening the cocoon for it, it will die. The struggle is what pushes the fluid from its swollen body into the wings which will eventually unfurl, dry, and lift the butterfly to a whole new world. In its old life it only crawled on a few branches, eating what leaves it could find. As the new creature, a butterfly can fly freely, collecting nectar from flowers with a whole way of life. 

We are new creatures with a new life. God hides us in Christ as He changes us to have new appetites and prepares us for a new habitat. Paul tells us in verse 4, “when Christ returns, we’ll appear with Him in glory.” We will see and reflect His glory as we are completed in Him, dead to the old life and alive in Him.

Reflection Question(s)

Think about your life in Christ and make a list of some of the changes you’ve seen Him make. Be sure to think of the things that are no longer a part of your life and what God has put in their place. 

Can you name a time in your life when God allowed you to go through a struggle that ended in you receiving God’s strength and growth in your life with Him? Thank Him for the struggle and growth. 

JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 4)

Week 6, Day 4 – Wednesday

Several years ago, I was traveling in the UK with a group of people. As we were crossing the Irish Sea on a large enclosed ferry from Ireland to Wales, the weather took a nasty turn. The ship began to roll side to side from the large waves. There were footprints on the walls from people walking on them when the wall became the floor in a large roll, and many suffered from seasickness.  

As I tried to find a way to settle my own stomach, I noticed the oldest member of our group sitting calmly at a counter in the front of the ferry. I sat down beside Dick, an 83-year-old Navy veteran from World War II, and asked how to fight the seasickness the waves were causing. He just looked forward and said, “You focus on the horizon. It doesn’t move.”  I tried to follow his directions but to me, the horizon was going up and down just like everything else. He encouraged me to focus all my attention just on the horizon. Before long, I realized I wasn’t so aware of the moving ferry when I kept my eyes only on the horizon. My stomach began to calm, and I even got to the point where I could look away from the horizon for a while. Then as I started to feel uneasy, I’d look back to it and get my bearings again. 

In this world, we all hit times when we feel everything is moving and rolling out of our control. Sometimes we even feel sick over the constant feeling of instability. But, Paul reminds us to focus on what never changes or moves, THINGS ABOVE like: God’s grace and His forgiveness, our security in Him and the fact that He will never leave us or forsake us, the fact that God knows and sees all we face and He has a plan for our lives, the knowledge that Jesus died for us because He loves us and we are adopted in to the family of God because of Him, that we are dearly loved by God and are His treasure. Sometimes the waves of life seem so high, it takes major effort to keep our focus on these things, but it pays off as we weather the most current storm secure in Him.

Reflection Question(s)

What things seem to be rocking your own feelings of stability today?

What specific things may God be asking you to remove from your field of vision in order to focus on Him?

Prayer

Jesus, You are the one who calmed the sea, who made a way where there was no way. I belong to You, I’m loved by You, and Your power is at work in me. Keep my eyes focused clearly on You and bring me through the storms of life. 

Verse 3 – Written in Red

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? Matthew 6:25‭-‬27 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.6.25-27.NIV