We were talking in preaching class today about facial expressions as a means of communication, when one student volunteered that she cannot raise just one eyebrow. Which caused many of us to raise one eyebrow. It reminded me of one of my friends back east who cannot wink. It’s really funny watching her concentrate as the determination builds in her face and then, Bam! She slams both eyes shut.
‘What can YOU do?’ was a game we played in elementary school on the playground and in the cafeteria. Can you roll your tongue? Can you bend your fingers all the way back to touch your forearm? Can you wiggle your ears? You did that too, didn’t you? For all those who read this blog and haven’t commented yet, you can leave me an example of the ‘what can you do’ stuff YOU did as a kid. (Or as an adult – you don’t have to fess up.)
The first chapter of Colossians is full of DONES and CAN DOs. It tells us what the gospel had done in Colossae and all over the Roman world. It tells us what God the Father has done for us and what God the Son has done for us. These are wonderful doings and it’s great to hear and rejoice over them. But the best part of the chapter is Paul’s prayer, because it identifies what WE can do as beneficiaries of the gospel and the Father and the Son.
What the gospel does is make known the truth and grace of God. It taps a spring of hope in us that flows with faith in Jesus and love for others. Its effects can grow and produce fruit in any location. The gospel nails down our confidence in a glorious heaven.
What the Father does is qualify us for that heavenly inheritance. He rescues us from the shadowlands of sin and adopts us as children of light. He willingly invests Himself fully in the flesh and blood of Jesus, the means of His forgiveness and our redemption.
What the Son does is merely create the universe, hold the universe together, and reconcile the universe to Himself! Wow. Not only can He bear the fullness of the image of God in human form, He can also bear the full burden of evil in His body on the cross!
So, what can WE do? As a response to these accomplishments of God in and around our lives; as a result of these marvelous realities; with the ongoing assistance of Father, Son and Word – what can WE do? Paul’s prayer for the Colossians suggests what is possible:
We can be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
We can obtain spiritual wisdom and understanding.
We can live a life worthy of the Lord.
We can please God in every way.
We can bear fruit in every good work.
We can gain power through Divine might.
We can obtain great patience and endurance.
We can rejoice with thank filled hearts.
I don’t know about you, but THAT’S what I want to do. So, let me study to understand better the full meaning of the gospel. Let me speak more with my heavenly Father, that His purposes and desires would become plain to me. And as a son of God, let me imitate THE Son of God, and demonstrate His headship over my life.
I was created by Him. I was created for Him. He’s the one who is holding me together. Yeah! He can do that!
Pray: Thank you, Father, for rescuing me. Thank you, Jesus, for reconciling me back to You by the blood of Your cross. Thank you for the good news of a Father’s love and a Brother’s sacrifice that drew me in and won my heart. Help me to realize my full potential in You, and help me to pray Paul’s Colossian prayer frequently for my family, my church, and the world.