15 June 2010

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 15-16; Colossians 1


28 We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. 29 That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me. (Colossians 1:28-29 MSG)

Paul urgently reminded the Colossian believers (and us) that the Christ-life is rooted in simple faith, not complicated knowledge. “We preach Christ in a spirit of profound common sense. To be mature in Christ is to be basic.”
• The Jewish Christ-followers thought that to be mature was to know and keep all the Jewish ritual laws.
• The “experientially-focused” believers in Corinth thought that to be mature was to have and demonstrate spiritual gifts so the thrill-level would remain high.
• The Christians who were influenced by Gnosticism thought that to be mature was to know hidden spiritual secrets that were only revealed to a select few.

Paul passionately and painstakingly emphasized that to be mature was to keep it simple: Jesus died for our sins, Jesus rose for our life, Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit for our empowerment to live a simple Jesus-imitating life. To be mature is to be basic!

There’s so much to learn and know and experience and feel. It’s so easy to drift away from the basics. In fact, according to Paul it’s not “basics” it’s “basic.” One basic – Jesus Christ is all in all. He did it all – I believe it and receive it. He demonstrated it all – my God-assignment is to progressively learn to think, speak, and act like Jesus.

Sorry if this seems over-simplistic as you read it. I need to be reminded how basic Christian maturity really is and how easy it is to get my attention focused on a lot of other non-basics.


Father, Thank you for devising a plan to redeem my lostness and reconcile my separated-ness and to restore my purposefulness. Thanks for making it so simple and basic that all I have to remember is Jesus Christ lived and died for me so I could live for you. Help me to be “basic” – to let Christ live through me and to live my life through him. Amen.

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