(For the next several weeks, we are going to focus on good news. Not fake news. Good news! News based on the truth of Jesus. Who needs to hear some good news in their life right now? Well, you have come to the right place because we continue to learn that there is more than enough good news to go around out there. It has to do with God. It is good to be receptive to God in our lives. It is appropriate to want God in our lives because it is a good thing to do.
So, how do we make progress in receiving God’s good news in our own lives?
We are going to use a real life example of a group of Christians who realize having God in their lives is a good thing.
These are Christians who lived just after the time of Jesus. They lived in a Roman city called, “Colossae,” which is in present day Turkey. Pronounced “Colossi.” These new Christians weren’t Turkish, they were Roman. And they were influenced by Paul. Yes, they are young in their faith and they are learning how great it is to believe in Jesus and follow him. They are learning how God has great treasures waiting for them as they abandon their lives to him. And they are discovering these treasures.
Paul is writing to the Colossians while he is in prison. But, prison isn’t holding him back. He is counting on the presence of God to be with him. He is excited to encourage these Christians to discover the treasures God has for them and to live their lives accordingly. Not out of guilt, but because living this way is a good thing to do.
As we learn this good news from Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we start with learning how it is God who brings us grace and peace. It is about being receptive.)
We have a problem. Two problems actually, separation and striving.
First, separation. The world I live in is crowded. I don’t mean my home or my neighborhood, but the moment I go anywhere in public, the vast majority of people I see are strangers. I have never met them before, and for most of them, I will never meet them again. When you live in Los Angeles, or any other place where there are a lot of people, you sure can feel disconnected. Can you relate?
Yet, today, I would say that even if you live in a town of 1000 you can still feel disconnected. There is something going on in our society today where we crave to belong and be in relationships with each other, but it’s not happening. Even for those of us who use social media, no matter how connected we think we are, there is so often an emptiness. Something missing.
And, consider our relationship with God. Even if we think we are connected and we are busy being in relationship with people, we can still feel disconnected with God. We may have a prayer life, but it is usually sending rather than receiving. In other words, we have a prayer life, but it is not a praying life where minute by minute our lives are soaked in an ongoing interaction between us and God. I experience this disconnect from time to time, how about you?
Yes, separation is a problem.
Where do you sense you are most disconnected today?