A challenge…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Colossians 1:1-10

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,  because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,  which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,  just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.   And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Do we pray for one another in this way? ” Asking that we may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Reflect for a bit; are we walking “in a manner worthy of the Lord…”?  God does the work in us as we seek Him and make the choices that reflect our love for Him.  Are we pleasing Him?  Are we bearing fruit?  Are we increasing in the knowledge of God?  Only we know the truth…

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Purpose of church (Mark)

“But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
“and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45 (ESV)
But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all.
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:43-45 (NLT)

 

We must learn what it means to serve rather than be served.  I sense extreme difficulty here.  I have no problem serving another as in providing food, serving the food, clearing the sidewalk of my neighbor, etc. but to be “the slave of all” seems extreme and needs clarification, possibly more humbling.

 But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must become your slave.
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
 

There it is again in Matthew.  I did some research on the word that gives me the problem:  slave – doulos in Greek.

from deo, “to bind,” “a slave,” originally the lowest term in the scale of servitude, came also to mean “one who gives himself up to the will of another,” e.g., 1Cr 7:23; Rom 6:17, 20, and became the most common and general word for “servant,” as in Mat 8:9, without any idea of bondage. In calling himself, however, a “bondslave of Jesus Christ,” e.g., Rom 1:1, the Apostle Paul intimates 

(1) that he had been formerly a “bondslave” of Satan, and

(2) that, having been bought by Christ, he was now a willing slave, bound to his new Master.

  From Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

 

one who gives himself up to the will of another“,  So to more clearly understand this passage, one can see that slave or servant is not used in the same manner we are used to in our world.  Here it is the voluntary giving up of oneself to the will of another.  So we no longer live as to ourselves, we now live for each other in Christ.  We are losing our sense of identity as individuals and becoming more group oriented as in the body of Christ.  I now consider the needs of all as well as my own needs before making decisions on anything.  Corporate thinking??  Moving away from me to thee??  How scary and challenging is this?  I sense the possibility of fear rising in me.  Can I truly become that vulnerable?? Yet as Jesus goes on to say, He did…

 I can more clearly understand now why some said to Him, this is a hard saying and left.

How does this relate to determining the church’s purpose?  We become more family than most natural, physical families.  So open to love, so open to the possibility of hurt, so vulnerable.  And Christ did this for just one, if that was all who would follow Him, or so we say.  He had plenty who jeered even as He gave himself for them!!!  What faith, what love…can I do less?