Does Christianity seem like a struggle?
When times are tough, take the advice of Colossians 2:6-8
Have you ever been challenged about your faith in Jesus? Has anyone ever said to you that they disagree with you when you say that Jesus is the only way to God, the only way to heaven? Have you ever overheard people trash-talking Christianity and Jesus?
What do you do when that happens? Sometimes what they say is really smart, or really deep, or even really convincing, or just really offensive. How should we respond?
Remember that the Christians in the town of Colosse were facing this sort of opposition. People were trash-talking Jesus and Christians. And Paul has three words of advice, to help them stand firm (Colossians 2:6-8).
First of all in verse 6, he says 'just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him'. You heard that Jesus lived, that he died on the cross for you, that he rose from the dead. You heard the basics. Keep hearing that. Keep reading about that. Keep believing that. Get the basics right first. And remember what it means for you: you are saved by God through Jesus. Keep living as a Jesus follower.
Next in verse 7, he takes the next step and says be built up in Jesus, strengthened in the faith you were taught. Grow your knowledge about Jesus. Read the Bible to learn more about him. Read Christian books, write down questions that you have and ask them to older Christians. Go to church every week to hear about Jesus and encourage other Jesus followers. Grow.
3. Say Thanks
And then Paul says, as you grow, and as you remember what Jesus did, be thankful to God. When you think about what Jesus did for you; that he LOVES you so much that he DIED for you, you can't not be thankful about that. Maybe we're not all that good at saying thanks for stuff. Like, your parents give you so much - clothes, food, pocket money, they drive you places, they pay for your school (and some of you go to awesome schools that are VERY expensive), but we don't often say thanks to them. God has done so much more for you than your parents, he gave his life for you. Thank God for that. Don't just say 'thanks', but be overflowing with thankfulness to God.
Remember what Jesus did for you, how huge that is, and be thankful.
Next Paul says in verse 8, 'don't be tricked by what other people believe'. Next week we're going to see a lot more about what the Colossian Christians were facing, what people were saying about Jesus and about religion, but Paul starts by saying don't be tricked by it. It just depends on stuff that people have made up, and it depends on basic principles of the world, rather than being based on Jesus.
So until the next article, Remember, Grow and Be Thankful!