I want you to know how much I am struggling for you… and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:1-8 (NIV)
These verses sum up my feelings about this blog more than any others. I struggle inside for you, my readers. I might not have ever visited your homes, but I visit your Facebook pages. I read your emails and comments. I discuss your problems with my husband, struggling to come up with solutions for you, solutions that are based on God’s Word. I pray for you daily.
Just as Paul writes to the Colossian believers, I want you also to know that my purpose is that you will be encouraged in heart and united in love. I know from my own life (and from God’s Word) that true peace comes only from Jesus. When I try to run my life my own way, often listening to the voices coming at me from every side, I come up poor and hurting. When I live my life in my Savior, however, I am strengthened and made rich.
I hear many voices online, too. Even in “Christian,” homeschooling circles, the variety of advice we receive is dizzying. Do you ever feel that way? It’s difficult to read everything, let alone evaluate everything, making sure that “no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy.” I can easily be “deceived” by “fine-sounding arguments.”
My passion is to see you, my reader, become “firm” in your faith in Christ. I want to be very sure that you have “received” him, that you “continue to live in him,” and that you are “rooted,” “built up,” “strengthened,” and “overflowing” — all in and because of Him. Over this next year, I’m going to carefully and slowly work through each of these points, making sure. Making sure.
First, have you “received” Jesus? That’s all I want you to think about this month. Sometimes our religion is nothing more than a head decision, a choice to be a “Christian,” but lacking in any understanding of what we’re actually receiving and why.
What are your spiritual beliefs? What do you believe about God — and why? Just because you’ve visited my blog, I don’t want to assume that you are a follower of Jesus. The Bible warns,
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19, NIV).
God goes on to tell us that real faith is evidenced by a changed life. Has God really changed your life, giving you peace, love, and joy — or are you struggling to “act” changed to all those around you, without any idea of how to achieve true peace on the inside?
Believing there is a God isn’t enough. I must “receive” Him, choosing to make Him the only deity in my life, rather than worshiping myself or something God has created.
The nation of Israel had it all — the miracles, the covenants, the law, the temple, the promises and prophets. However, they wouldn’t receive Jesus. Why not? Romans 9 and 10 give us some clues (and would make some great reading for you this week).
Who is Jesus to you? Take a few days to really think about that one. The answer means everything.
“My most cherished possession I wish I could leave you is my faith in Jesus Christ, for with him and nothing else you can be happy, but without him and with all else you’ll never be happy.” -Patrick Henry