20 Feb Complete in Christ
The Christian disciplines, such as daily reading of the Scriptures, prayer, worship, witnessing, etc., are all crucial for a healthy, balanced Christian life. While we should never neglect these disciplines, they alone are not enough. In the Scriptures, we find that experiences, encounters with the Lord and even angels, changed people more radically and propelled them toward their destiny far more than any amount of study could have done.
Many foolish ones do not do anything but wait for such encounters. We cannot neglect study and the other basic disciplines, because they prepare us for the encounters, yet we need encounters too. Consider praying for them, but especially pray for an experience of the love of God. We will never be who we are called to be or accomplish what we are called to accomplish without His love.
We encounter many traps and sidetracks on the path of life. I have been tricked by some for periods of time. Although they were traps that sidetracked me, I have learned a lot from them. These lessons have been illuminated to me even more through recent prophetic experiences which I wrote about in my latest book, The Path. I will have far more to share about these in the sequel, but I will include some in our Word For The Weekstudies. You will not have to fall into the same traps if you learn from my experiences, just as I have avoided many by learning from others.
The path of life is meant to be a long, hard journey. It is intended to fashion us not only into the best people we can be on this earth, but also those worthy to be the royalty of the universe—God’s own sons and daughters who will rule and reign with Him. This is the highest calling and greatest opportunity there will ever be. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is not meant to be easy. It is meant to require such focus, devotion, endurance, and sacrifice that even the angels will say that these are worthy to be their judges.
It is important to see the prize of the high calling in Christ, but selfish ambition will not be enough to keep us on the path. Only the love of Christ, the same love of the Father for Him, will keep us on the path. In I Corinthians 13:8 we read that “love never fails.” This could have been translated “love never quits.” Only love for God, the love of God that He has “shed abroad in our hearts” (see Romans 5:5), will never quit. For this reason, love must always be our chief pursuit.
Now let’s get practical. What will it look like if we are walking in that love? We must have a vision for this if we are going to fulfill The Great Commission to make disciples. We cannot impart what we have not received. As we are told in Ephesians 1, the goal of all creation is to be summed up in Christ. It was for this reason the Apostle Paul made what could possibly be the most profound statement declaring the most basic purpose of true ministry here in Colossians 1:28-29:
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
Think about what it would be like to be devoted to presenting everyone complete in Christ. In a practical way, I think Paul sought to discern where everyone was in their relationship to Christ to help them along the way toward being “summed up in Christ,” or “complete in Christ.” If they did not know Him, Paul would introduce them to their Savior. If they did know Him, Paul would seek to discern how mature they were in Him so that he could help them take the next step and grow more in Him. In all things, Paul sought to impart and bring forth Christ in His people. That is the foundation of true apostolic ministry—seeing Christ formed in His people, not just trying to get people into a certain form.