Well, good morning. Once again, Bethel church, let me invite you to take your copy of God's word and open up to Colossians chapter two this morning, Colossians chapter two. And it wasn't that an incredible story that Kristy just shared with us. The story of God rescuing her out of her routine.
It had become a religious routine and brought her into a relationship with the living God. And then the story of a church rallying around her and building her up for, for her to find herself rooted and established in her faith and continuing to grow. Yeah, that's what we're going to be talking about today.
Colossians chapter two. And as we look at this text, I want you to think about this thought as you find your way in your device or in your copy of God's word to Colossians today, which is think about this. The statement that I want to share with you is this: scarcity brings clarity. Think about that statement for a second, scarcity brings clarity.
That was the, that was the headline article in Christianity today, September, 2019. And I remember reading it. I remember thinking, you know, I think that's true. Like the idea is scarcity brings clarity in the sense that you and I do our best thinking that we get, we get. Proper vision and clarity when we're actually experiencing less or we're experiencing loss in our lives.
And, and isn't that true? I thought back to that article, as we've been walking for these last several months in a season of scarcity, and I know for me that it has brought, it's brought clarity now, just, just think about how this is generally true for, for many of us. Think about, think about the person that. Is going through the grocery line. And as they're going through the grocery line, as the, as the individual that's checking them out is ringing things up. Uh, the bill continues to increase and here's this person who knows they only have $10 in their pocket and the food keeps coming down, coming down.
It's approaching that $10 and then it goes over that. What do you do? Well, scarcity brings clarity, right? I only have $10. And so you look back over the amount of items that you have, and you have to make a decision, right? You have to prioritize what needs to make the list with all that I have. I only have $10. What fits?
Scarcity brings clarity. We're thinking about this, think about the individual that that's diagnosed with an illness that knows that they only have a certain amount of days, weeks, months, maybe years to live, you know, scarcity brings clarity. Doesn't it? What are you going to do with the time that remains?
I want you to think today about this, this thought scarcity brings clarity because really what it does is scarcity allows us to prioritize things that we wouldn't have otherwise prioritized. Can you imagine a man who knew that he only had three years to live and in those three years, he would most likely, if he was wise, he would prioritize what matters most.
And by the way, there was a man, his name is the Lord Jesus. And he only had three years earthly ministry that he was going to be in sting in certain things. He only had three years. And so Jesus looked at those three years and he prioritized what matters most. What's the biggest impact that I can make right. In these three years in my earthly ministry.
And you know what he did? Jesus prioritized relationships. We started talking about this last week, and we're going to continue to dive deeper into it this week, but I want you to see that Jesus in the three years and in a little over 36 years, that Jesus had to invest his life in this world.
He prioritized investing in, first of all, his disciples. Into a group of people that he invited to follow him, that he invited into a relationship with him so that they might learn from him and they might do what he did and continues to do. He valued the, these relationships with these disciples. And then the next group of people that he invested in, he prioritized were people that were far from God.
Jesus spent a significant period of his time, investing in people that had been pushed down and pushed out by even the religious institution of the day. And Jesus goes around and he spends so much time prioritizing those that are far from God that he's called a sinner and a drunkard because that's the crowd that he hangs with.
But the very first relationship that matters in Jesus's life, that he prioritized above all other ones, that affected his relationship with his disciples, it impacted the way that he reached people far from God, was his relationship with his father. Jesus prioritized his relationship with his father. And what I want to challenge you to consider today is this:
In all the relationships that God has called us to invest in, our relationship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, our relationship with people that are far from God in this world, that we want to impact. Both of those relationships are informed and are actually impacted great greatly when, when our relationship with God is prioritized first and foremost.
And what we're going to see today is that relationship where that relationship starts is how that relationship grows. That's what Colossians two is: this simple but profound texts. This is where it leads us. I want us to understand that scarcity does bring clarity. So what Paul was trying to do, and he was impacting the Corinthians. You might remember last week, we looked at 2 Corinthians 11:3, where Paul is looking on this group of believers and he knows that they're being impacted by external forces. There's a culture that wants to collapse the church with, with all of its causes and all of its all of its indiscretion.
But when Paul writes second Corinthians, he's writing to a group of believers that are not, not being capsized by the culture. Instead, what they're being captured by is this complexity that's come from their faith. And Paul writes to these believers and he says this in 2 Corinthians 11:3, again, he say: "But I am afraid that your minds will we'll be led astray from..." notice this, "the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ."
I love this statement. I think it is incredibly wise and incredibly relevant because what Paul says is that guys you have missed, you've missed simplicity because of that, the complexity of what's happening in the church, the fights and the bickering that's going on. So I want to call us back to simplicity.
I want to call us back to clarity. In the midst of our scarcity, of being able to meet together in the way that we want to, and being able to live our lives in the way that we want to live our lives, what does it look like to, to dwell in Christ and grow in Christ? Colossians 2:6-7 says this. It says: "Therefore. As you received Christ Jesus, the Lord. So walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith just as you were taught abounding in thanksgiving." This is a, this is a simple statement. And in light of this verse, I want you to hear a statement by Martin Luther. The famous reformer as, as he was reflecting on this thought, this getting into Christ as you've received Christ and then walking in Christ, Martin Luther sums up the Christian life in this way.
Quote. Martin Luther said it, "It ought to be the priority goal or the primary goal of, of every Christian. Listen to this, to put aside confidence in works and grow stronger in the belief that we are saved by faith alone." Did you hear what Martin Luther just said? I mean, let me, let me rephrase it here. He asks us a question and I'll ask you a question: It ought to be the primary goal of every Christian to, dot,dot, dot. Now, just for a second, I want you to ponder that question. It ought to be the primary goal of every Christian to let's say I didn't give you Martin Luther's answer. And you were filling in the blank yourself right now. How would you answer that question? Like if you were to look at your Christian life and you see all the things that are on the conveyor belt of, of all the things that you do, right. Of attending church and reading the Bible and being in a small group and serving in your community and reaching the world and all these things that are really, really good things that we need to put priority on what matters most. Like what comes first, if you only have $10 in your pocket and you're buying one thing, what, what matters most?
And here's what Martin Luther says again, he says: "It's the primary goal of every Christian to..." he says... "put aside confidence in works and grow stronger in the belief that we are saved by faith alone" What he's saying here is that our primary goal should be to go back to the basics. Do you see that? To go back to where we started with Jesus to go back to grace, to stay there and to thrive there.
That's where we need to go back to, we need to go back. Let me just summarize Martin Luther. We need to go back to Jesus. And his grace and his goodness for us. That's that's, that's where it's clear that we need to go back to that's what Colossians two says. That's where Martin Luther is leading us and what this verse says and what I think Martin Luther would agree on is that what this text says is that we're going to go on with Christ.
In the same way that we started with Christ, that we're never going to outgrow Jesus. And I hope that there's, there's never a day in Bethel's history where we're just bigger than Jesus. Where we outgrow Jesus and we outgrow his grace because where we started is also what keeps us and that's where we keep going.
So it, Colossians two is going to tell us as a matter of fact, there's this an so statement that you see in verse number six. Paul says, as you received him. So walk in him, listen, if all that you're doing right now today, whether you you're watching at one of our venues, you're watching online, wherever you find yourself, physically, if you find yourself spiritually, just clinging to Jesus, because that's all that you have. Can I just tell you that your Christianity is not broken? It's actually the, the way that Christianity was designed to work is for us to cling to Jesus and the cling to him alone. Yeah. So how do we do that? As we enter into a relationship with him as we receive him, and then how do we do that as we remain in him and even grow in him as we did this.
So these other things are gonna happen. So two truths that I want to share with you today, truth number one is this. That Christ Jesus. The Lord is the one who we've received. Christ Jesus. The Lord is the one whom we've received verse six. He says again, therefore, as you received Christ Jesus, the Lord. So walk in him first and foremost, you have to have received him.
We receive him. That's how you become a Christian. You receive Christ Jesus Lord to receive a means to accept him, to acknowledge him in various ways. And we're going to talk about those various ways, but I just want you to hear this in order to remain in Christ, to remain in relationship with God, you have to have prior prioritize.
First of all, the relationship with Jesus that you have stepped into that you've received. Then: receiving is not achieving right. Receiving is like how you receive a gift? No, I give gifts to my kids at their birthday. Not because they're good. As a matter of fact, I kind of want to withhold gifts from them because oftentimes they're not so good. But what I do is I give gifts to my kids because they're my kids. And when I give a gift to them, it's not because they've earned it. And as they reach out to take their gifts, they just, they just take it and they, and they receive it from their father. That's how salvation comes to us. Jesus has given us this gift.
It's a free gift. Ephesians two tells us, right. It is, it is it's by grace, it's God's grace alone. And it comes through faith that we receive this. It's not anything that we do. It's nothing that we achieved so that we might not boast in ourselves. We receive it from Christ. You have to receive Christ first and foremost, you can't achieve relationship with God apart from receiving a relationship with Jesus.
And the reason that I want to just camp out here for a second, it is because there are so many people in America that believe that achieving Christian things that checking off our religious responsibilities and duties make you a Christian. And it's just, it's just simply not true. Going to church and being in a small group and giving to your church and serving through your church and reaching the world. Those are all great things, but you can do all those things and not have a relationship with Jesus. And you might be thinking, well, that's a, that's a really bold statement. Well, here's the thing. I didn't make it. Jesus made the statement. And at the conclusion of the sermon on the Mount, Jesus says this, he's talking about the last day, the day of judgment, where you and I, one day are going to stand before the Lord.
And, and this is what he says in Matthew 7:22-23. He says "On that day, that final day, notice this next word, many will say to me, Lord, Lord. Did we not prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name. And then I, Jesus says will declare to them. I never, and here's the key word knew you depart from me." Jesus says that there are going to be many people in that last day. Did a lot of religious things. They even did religious things in Jesus' name. They, they, they, they did actually spectacular things, prophesizing and casting out demons and doing all these incredible works. Like these are spectacular works. The only problem is is that these people did not have a life giving relationship with Jesus. And so Jesus looks at them on this final day and they said that they essentially come to him with their list and say, here are all the things that I did for you. And he looks, and he goes man, demons and prophecies, and all these mighty works. And excuse me, who are you?
This is a terrifying verse, right? How do you, how do you arrive at this day? When many people will I've missed it for religious activities, they will have missed a relationship with Jesus. How do you and I then enter into it. Yeah. Relationship with Jesus. Well, glad you asked, because he actually gives us the answer.
How do you receive him? And the way that we receive him is in the order in which he gives us of his name again, verse six, he says, therefore, as you received these next words, Christ Jesus, the Lord, that's who we receive. We receive him. First of all, as the Christ. We receive him as the Christ, that word Christ as simply means God's chosen when his anointed one, the old, old Testament word for that would have been Messiah.
He is the Christ, the promised Messiah of the old Testament who came into the world 2000 years ago and started to change everything forever. That's the Christ. That's the Lord Jesus. The Messiah. He came into the world to change everything. And did you know, in the first century people were looking for him as a matter of fact, lots of people were looking for that when the Messiah, the deliverer.
That's why it's recorded in John chapter one verse 41. Andrew is the he here. It says he first found his own brother, Simon. This is, so now this is Andrew and Simon, two brothers having this conversation. And he says to Simon, who is also Peter, he says to him, we have found the Messiah. Yeah. Why is he looking?
Well, people were looking, a lots of people were looking for the Messiah. We have found the Messiah, which means Christ. They were looking for the one that would deliver them politically, spiritually, physically, all of these various ways. And they found him his name is Jesus. They found the Christ. The Messiah.
The question for you is have you found the Christ? Have you found the Messiah? Because if we're being honest, every single one of us were looking for a savior. And we have lots and lots of people and systems and all kinds of different structures in our world that want to save us that, that allude to the fact that they can save us.
And yet we know that there are false saviors all over the place. Jesus alone can save us. He can save us completely. He is the one. If you were to read back in Colossians chapter one, you would see that Jesus is the one that formed the world. He is, he is, he, he is pre and that is the word that's used in cautions chapter one.
He created all that is everything was made by him. And then it goes on until so that everything was, was made for him. So that in everything and through everything, he might reign Supreme. So, so the Messiah, the Christ, the one that designed everything, he is, he is the best one that we can call on to put broken things back together.
He designed it. He knows how it's broken and he knows exactly how it goes back together. Have you called out to Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, the savior that can fix everything that is broken in you and in me, We receive him as the Christ. Second thing that we do is we receive them as Jesus. That's the next name?
That's used the name Jesus. And the name Jesus was actually, it was a common name. It's the, it's the old Testament, Flint to Joshua. It's the Greek form of that kind of Hebrew word for Joshua Yeshua and what that word means, Joshua or Jesus. That means Yahweh saves God. Safe. And that was the human name that Jesus was given.
You might remember as you're reading this week, if you read on Monday Matthew chapter one in our, in our re reading plan, Matthew chapter one, verse 21, it says this, the angel says to Mary, you shall call his name Jesus for it is he who will save his people from their sins. The name Jesus is oftentimes related to this savior.
This God that saves. And Jesus is the one that is going to save us from our sins. Jesus is the friend of sinners, right? That's the name that's given to him. He'd be friends, sinners, because he wants to save sinners. That's what he came to do. First Timothy one 15 says this. The thing is trustworthy and deserving, full, except full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to do what, to save sinners.
And then Paul says of whom I am foremost, this Jesus that you cry out to. He is a friend of sinners and that's good news. If you're a sinner, Jesus is your friend. Jesus paid the penalty for his friends. First, Peter two 24 says this. He himself bore our sins in his body, on the tree. Why that we might die to sin and we might live to righteousness.
And by his wounds, we have been healed. I agree with the Psalmist that says what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. Jesus is the friend of sinners, but also it goes on and it tells us that he is Christ Jesus. The Lord, we receive him as the Lord. Now this is, this is different than Christ.
This, this Messiah, the saver, this is different than Jesus friend of sinners. When he says that we receive him as Lord. What he's saying is he's, he's referring to his deity and his, and his kingship. This word curious was, was used to talk about the Supreme authority on earth, which in this day was Caesar.
And what they say is no, this Messiah, this Jesus, he is above all Lords, all Kings, all authorities. He is the Lord of, of everything. And so when we, when we focus on Christ, we see this Messiah that can, that can heal us and bring deliverance for us. We see this Jesus that can, that can save us from our sins.
He can bear the weight of our sins that crushes us and give us his righteousness. But when we see him as Lord. We are in all of the Messiah and all of Jesus. But when we see him as Lord, we can't help, but bend our knee and say to him, command me anything that you do, anything that you say, any place that you want me to go command me, Lord, I will go.
And that's how we come to him. So here's my question for you. Have you come to receive. Christ Jesus, the Lord, have you done that? There's probably many people that are watching this service and you need to ask yourself the question. The reason that you're listening to this service today is because you need to ask yourself that question.
Have you received Christ Jesus, the Lord. If you want to do that, you can even do that in this moment. We would love to help you enter into a relationship with Jesus and then walk with a life for a lifetime, with a lifetime with Jesus that goes on for all of eternity. Romans 10 13 tells us this, that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, that is Christ Jesus, the Lord, everyone who calls upon his name will be saved.
Have you received him so you can see, I hope that what you and I do to enter into a relationship with Jesus is we call on him. We put all of our trust in him. We come to him with empty hands and we say, see, take over this life. The reason I want to spend so much time focusing on that is because what Paul tells us in Colossians is that that is the way that you and I go on with Christ.
How we got in is how we stay on, on track with Jesus truth. Number two, is this you and I, we go on walking with him as Christ. Jesus, just the Lord. That's what happens as well. We started, we continue on the grace that God gave us that converted us as the grace that sustains us. You see the ground rules, never change.
It's all grace. And so just as we started, that's how we continue on. And here's what he says again, he says, as you receive Christ Jesus, the Lord. So walk in him. This idea of this ongoing process walk is in the present tense. And it's a word that's often used in the new Testament to talk about what it means to go on in the Christian life to walk.
Now there, there's nothing spectacular about walking. Running's a lot better, you know, If I walked 10 miles, you'd be like, why would you do that? If I ran 10 miles, you'd be like, Oh man, that's awesome. Good job. Go walk 10 miles. You're like, did your car break down? You know what I mean? There's just nothing spectacular about walking, but it is a common term that the new Testament uses to talk about this.
Not impressive, but this deliberate direction. That leads us somewhere. Are you walking consistently regularly with Jesus and to walk with Jesus means this verse seven tells us it means to be rooted. It says and built up in him and established in the faith just as you are taught and abounding in Thanksgiving, there are four participles that are given here.
The first one is this of being rooted in him to walk in him, means to be rooted in him. No, this is the only participle that's used here in the perfect tense. And the reason I want to draw that out is because the perfect tense indicates this, this past action with continuing results. It means that you were rooted in Christ, and now you're going to continue in him being rooted this language of, of a tree, right?
You can, you can envision this. Our relationship with Jesus. We are established in him. We are rooted in him, but these roots have this continuing action where they continue to run deep. And you and I, we, we have this incredible blessing in this world for our roots to run deep into life, giving water. That is a personal relationship with Jesus.
So it starts it's rooted, right? But it continues on in the way that you and I continue to be rooted in. Jesus is as we abide in him, right? That's a John 15 language where Jesus is talking about relationship. God has rooted us as we have received Tim and we've come into a relationship with him. We've been rooted and then we can continue to stay rooted abiding in him.
John 15 verses four and five says, it says, this Jesus said abide in me. And I in you as the branches cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine. Neither can you, unless you abide in me, I am the vine. You are the branches, whoever abides in me and I in him, he, it is that bears much fruit, but apart from me, you can do nothing.
This abiding, this continuing to be rooted and established in him is what our hope is. Is that we can be rooted and established that we can drink from life-giving sources in this world. As we pursue him being rooted in him. The second one, we walk in him by being built up in him by being built up in him.
So now he leaves this kind of vision of a tree, this, this organic nature of being established and then growing organically to a picture of construction being built up in him. And the next three participles that he uses here, they're there, they're in the present. They're kind of talking about this steady progression.
That's about to happen. So picture, if you would, this rooted tree, right. Which is totally different organic, but now we've established this foundation that is Jesus. And we're being built up or being built up in Christ. Now what's interesting about building up. If you're, if you've driven past a home that's being built right now, or maybe you have a home being built in Prosser right now, we have a high school that's being built.
And what's amazing is when construction is taking place, when, when the big pieces get put in place and then the building or the house gets wrapped, it looks like everything happened like overnight, right? The structure goes up, but then I drive past day in and day out. I'm looking at I'm like, man, are they making any progress?
And the reality is, is that they are making progress, but it's electrical work and plumbing. It's all these things that are interior that you just can't see from the outside. I don't know about you, but I feel like that in the Christian walks sometimes, like when I entered into a relationship with Jesus back in December of 1997, seemed like God was doing this incredible work and all these people could see it.
God was building this new life in Jason. And, and, and the roof went on and the, and the building got wrapped and it was like, wow. But then as I look at my own life, now, years down the road, decades down the road, I'm going, man, like, is there anything that's going on? Well, yeah, there is. It's just, it's just plumbing and electrical work.
Right. I mean, the house has been established for quite some time. And so a lot of the work that he's doing is renovation. In different places. This doesn't fit this season of life. And so it's being restructured and reconfigured were being built up in him, walking with him as being rooted and built up in him.
But number three, it's being established in the faith being established in the faith, which could also be translated, being established in your faith. What he's saying here is go back to the basics. Go back to the faith and he adds in there. He says the faith just as you are hi, like these are the basic truths that you need to understand, and don't ever get past these, these significant, simple truths that you've been taught that you and I become established in the faith and the number four, we will be walking in Jesus as we are overflowing with gratitude.
That's what it looks like to walk in. Jesus. To be overflowing. So picture number one was the tree that's been firmly established. Picture. Number two is the building that has been built. This final one. It's a picture of a river overflowing at its banks. Abounding in Thanksgiving is what he says. It's this picture of the banks just simply, simply can't contain what's coming down the stream.
And I, and I, and I love that picture. This, this gratitude that we have for all that God has done as we're being rooted, as we're being built up, as we're being established in the faith, God's doing a work in us and, and out of the overflow of that, our banks of our lives overflow, this relationship that God has started in us and continues in us.
This grace that is alive in us, it just continues to spill over. Which leads us to this statement that I shared last week, that I want to kind of land us on today. Everything that Jesus desires to do through you, it's going to be accomplished out of the overflow of his relationship with you. Everything that Jesus wants to do through you.
And he has things he has. He has responsibilities for you, but those responsibilities come after you've established a relationship with him. Listen, Christians, those of you that have just been, you've been following Jesus for a really long time. I just, I just want to call you brothers and sisters back to clarity.
I want to call you back to where you began, where did you begin with Jesus? You began with his grace. You began with empty hands and just saying, Jesus, you are all that I need. And you are enough friends. What would it look like for you to be called back to that? Even in this moment for this season? To get it down to everything that's coming down the conveyor belt of your life to just say, man, I, if I, if I could only spend my life on one thing, what would it be?
Can I encourage you to get back to your first love? Isn't that what Jesus said to the church in emphasis? In revelation, chapter two, Jesus was looking at this church that was doing incredible things. Their works were phenomenal. Uh, they, they were, they were casting out heretical teachings in their church.
They were doing incredible things. And yet these are Jesus's words to that church. He said, but I have this against you in light of so many spectacular things. He says, I have this against you. That you've abandoned. The love that you had at first. Jesus says you're doing incredible things. The only thing is, is that you've forgotten me.
So then what does he say in order to course correct them? Verse five. He says, remember, therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the works you did at first, Jesus is calling us back in his own words back to where we began. Where did we begin? We began with grace. We began with a relationship with Jesus that said, I have, I have nothing to bring to you.
All I offer you is empty hands. I offer you myself, God come into a relationship with me. And that's where we want to be. Even if we're 20 years, 30 years, 50 years into this relationship, God, call us back to our first love. Call us back to yourself. And for those of you that are listening, that you've never entered into this relationship with God, you don't know what it is to have a relationship with Jesus.
I just want to punch her back back to one of those verses that we read earlier that everyone, this promise is true. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord that is Christ Jesus, Lord will be saved. You can do that where you are today, you can talk to somebody that's in one of your venues. And do that with them today.
You can do it online, go to our, go to our bullets and there's a connect card there. You can let us know that you're doing that even in your home today, we live in a scarce world. We live in a world that is experienced less, experiencing less and loss right now. I wonder if clarity isn't coming, coming for you in the things that matter most, the most significant thing that you can do and continue in.
Is having a personal relationship with Jesus. Let's pray, father, we come to you now. And we, we just say that you are everything in a world that is, uh, that is complex. In a world that is competing for our hopes and our dreams and even competing for, or the right to save us from ourselves. And from this world, Lord, we look to you in the midst of all the complexity and we say, Lord Jesus, we simply want you.
We want to set aside the complexity. We want to set aside the culture. We want to set aside all those things. And we want to have a clear vision of what it is to have a relationship with Jesus that starts now and lasts forever. A relationship with Jesus that fuels everything within us. And it's the way, not only do we enter into a relationship with you, but it's how we continue on.
Father, forgive us for those of us that were in a position where we have forgotten that first love, whatever it is to come back to that faith that we once had, that grace, that we once were clinging to God, we repent of that and draw us back to that. And for those Lord that are listening, that just need to enter into a relationship with you for the very first time.
God, I pray that people. Would raise up their voice, raise up their hearts and their minds and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord long for you, for relationship with you. May it feel everything that we do this week and may it overflow into every other relationship that we're walking in. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen.