WORKING, STRUGGLING, TOILING BY GOD’S POWER
Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” —Isaiah 42:5-9
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. —Colossians 1:21-29
Our Lord God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, all that is seen and unseen, has given us the stewardship, the responsibility to be a light in this dark world. We are to “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18). This is what happened to us when “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6). We were blind prisoners sitting in darkness needing to come to our “senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who (had) taken (us) captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26). But God called us in righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21) and “you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” God’s mystery has been revealed “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And so this is what motivated Paul when he said, “I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” He had to share the message!
Can we say this with Paul? Are we allowing God’s power to work within us to motivate us to work, toil and struggle to share the gospel with those around us, to disciple those around us? Jesus is the ONLY HOPE for this world. We cannot keep Him to ourselves! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-1fwZtKJSM Let us to His will!
Dear Father may I allow You to work in and through me by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son. May this be so!