Today’s Bible Reading Challenge:
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
In today’s Scripture reading, I am reminded and humbled that I was once engaged in evil deeds and that because of Christ’s death on the cross, He has made peace (reconciled), brought harmony in my relationship with Him. Going back to verses 19-20, I see:
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
And now, verse 22 reveals the reason He reconciled all things to Himself, through the blood of Christ, because of what God has done, I will be presented before Him as holy and blameless. Christ has overcome the evil deeds I did, and He made it possible for me to be presented before Him as holy and blameless. I have been declared righteous. I can joyously give thanks to the Father, who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light (Colossians 1:12). I have been, am being, and will be, changed to live a life which will reflect the holiness and blamelessness of Christ.
Continuing in verse 23, there is an “if,” the condition… I must continue in the faith. I am not to be moved. I am to stand firm, to be “established.” The definition of establish is to be set up on a permanent basis. Not only am I to stand firm, I am to stand firm ALWAYS, permanently.
The next statement I see is a “wow” statement for me. The hope of the Gospel, the fact that Christ was born, lived, ministered, was killed, and is living, risen from the grave, drawing us to Himself, THAT hope, is proclaimed in ALL of His creation. I am reminded of Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Do you offer excuses for wavering away from the faith? Can you see a difference in your “former” life and the life you now live? Are your choices and your lifestyle one that can be presented before God as holy and blameless?
It is not impossible to live that life. Here is the promise God has given to His people, that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can turn from. He always offers us a way to get away from that temptation and overcome it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
I pray that as evil and sin from my former life still tempt and entice, that I can stand firm on the promise, the faith, God has granted to me, that with His wisdom, I can see the escape route to overcome the temptation and live a life that will allow me to be presented to Him, holy and blameless.