GOD’S WILL AND WAY FOR YOU IN 2015 – Fred Henry

Keeping Jesus Supreme and Central in Your Life
Colossians 1:9-20

PREVIOUS BIBLE READING:
Colossians 1:9-20
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his WILL through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every WAY: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

GOD’S WILL AND WAY FOR YOU IN 2015
Keeping Jesus Supreme and Central in Your Life
Colossians 1:9-20

God’s Story and Our Story – how as we walk toward God and especially with God, his story and our story become ONE story …  a story that glorifies God … is soul-satisfying for us … and becomes a compelling witness to others.

There is One who is the main character throughout that story – the central figure!.
+ The angel who announced his birth to the shepherds called him,
“Savior who is Messiah the Lord.”
+ His human name is simply “Jesus.”

Colossians 1 is an excellent summary of his story!
– And we also find ourselves in that story!

“GOD’S WILL AND WAY FOR YOU IN 2015” – The message of Colossians 1 and 2 …
(Colossians 1:9b-10a)
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his WILL through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every WAY …
… bearing fruit in good works
… growing in our knowledge of God
… strengthened by God’s power
… living with patience and endurance …
… giving joyful thanks to the Father.

READ: Colossians 1:15-20 to discover more about God’s will and way …  (Christ’s Story)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

To understand God’s will … we need to begin with God’s will for Jesus!
GOD’S WILL?
(v. 17a)   He (Jesus Christ) is before all things …
Jesus Christ as SUPREME is God’s WILL for Jesus, for our universe, and also for your life!

+ He is SUPREME!   (Colossians 1:15,18-19)
+ God’s will for you and me? …
Live a Christ-exalting life!
– a life worthy of him
– a life pleasing to him

GOD’S WAY?  (HOW his will works out practically in our lives).
(v. 17b)   … and in him all things hold together.
Jesus Christ as CENTRAL is God’s WAY for Jesus, for our universe, and also for your life!

+ He is CENTRAL!   (Colossians 1:16-17, 20) – watch for “in him … through him … for him”
+ God’s way for you and me
Live a Christ-centered life!

PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THAT … (Colossians 2:9)
(the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives)
God made you for wholeness and fullness of life! – See that in …
+ The Great Commandment – Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the LORD  your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
+ Life of Jesus – Luke 2:52  (also Samuel)
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
+ Colossians 2:9-10
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
God’s WILL and WAY includes every dimension of your life! …

UP/IN/OUT – Trinity’s vision for your Christian growth and development!
UPWARD – Seeking God
INWARD – Satisfied in God and in communion with one another
OUTWARD – Serving God individually and with one another

Christ is supreme and central in all of those dimensions of life! …
+ Every one of those dimensions is ESSENTIAL for wholeness of life!
+ Emphasis on only one or two leads to a life of DISTORTION and DISCONNECTION.
+ Each of them working TOGETHER with the others produces the FULLNESS of Christ in us …
– Christ in us brings us to God and glorifies him.  (UPWARD)
– Christ in us brings personal satisfaction and fellowship with others.  (INWARD)
– Christ in us brings the kingdom of God near to the lost and world around us. (OUTWARD)
+ Those UP/IN/OUT dimensions should be a part of every Christian life!
+ Those UP/IN/OUT dimensions should be a part of every Christian group!

HOW?
(GOD’S WAY)  –  CHRIST THE ONLY PRIORITY!  …  THE CENTER!  …  THE FOCAL POINT!
… not just first place as in a list of priorities, but center place … as v. 17 pictures …
… “holding everything else together!”
Here is the message for today and for the new year 2015 …
Jesus Christ is God’s WILL and he is God’s WAY for our universe and for us!
He is SUPREME and he is CENTRAL
That is GOD’S STORY!

What is YOUR STORY?
Is Jesus honored as supreme in your life … as king and head?
Is Jesus at the control center of your desires, your thinking, your behavior?

I call you to come to Christ for this kind of centered and filled life.
– Are you walking toward God?  … walking away from God?  … walking with God?

Colossians 2:6-10
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him,
(rooted another picture along with centered)
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 elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.

PRAYERS OF RESPONSE TO GOD

BLESSING / BENEDICTION
Offering prayer and praise and blessing to others every day of the new year.

Bene = good; diction = words, speech … good words, blessing
+Bless God
+Bless others – a way of offering praise and happiness to others
Ortberg, “Our Souls Need Blessing”

Numbers 6:22-27
The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
(turn his face toward you)
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

BASIC SCRIPTURE TEXT FOR THE MESSAGE

Colossians 1:9-20
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his WILL through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every WAY: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 2:6-10
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.