Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Is Supreme

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

To Live Is Christ

Beth Moore
I love Beth Moore's Bible studies. She goes into great depth and thoroughly researches each topic, providing insights into the culture and language of the day we wouldn't otherwise know. I believe her daughter helps out with the research these days. Moore knows how to get women talking. When we do one of her studies at church, the small-group discussion sessions are lively and interactive. When we watch the videos that accompany each session, her energy launches us into the next week's lessons. She's both personal and personable.

I don't know about where you live, but around her in southern Indiana, few women's groups conduct Bible studies in the winter, so I've been doing my own study of Moore's To Live Is Christ: The Life and Ministry of Paul. Do it solo has its disadvantages. It lacks two dynamics: the vigorous discussions of the sisterly group and the video, bursting with Moore's own vigor.

In today's lesson, Moore ruminates on God's willingness to humor man. As examples, she cites the case of the Magi, wise men, astronomers who studied the ancient Hebrew prophecies of a coming Messiah. While Yahweh could have reached a holy finger down to Earth and traced arrows in the dust pointing the way, He chose instead to mark the event in the heavens where an astronomer would naturally look. Then Beth mentions the miracles Yahweh worked through Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:11)--the healing blessing of the handkerchiefs and exorcisms in Jesus' Name of demons, for example. Why would Yahweh choose to use such obvious means to reveal Himself?

"Because Satan had made his work so obvious there," Moore writes. "Satan is powerful, but he is no match for the Almighty God."

God chooses not to be good at "Hide 'n' Seek." He wants to be found. He wants you to find Him, if you haven't already.

So how does God reveal Himself today? He's Creator; therefore, He's creative. Moore goes on to demonstrate some approaches He might use.

"God sometimes reveals Himself to a homeless man hiding under a bridge through a blanket brought to him by a caring minister. He sometimes reveals Himself to a drunk through a servant who cares for him and offers him Living Water. He sometimes reveals Himself to a prostitute through a godly policeman who tells her Christ can set her free."

How did He reveal Himself to you? What circumstance in your life did He tailor make for you to help you find him? What if you're part of His perfect plan for someone else? What if He wants to use you to woo another soul to Him?

Look around. We're surrounded by people who need Jesus Christ.

[Heavenly Father, thank You for using the circumstances in my life to reveal Yourself to me. I'm so grateful for the times You whispered, "Here I am, Sharon Kay. You need Me to get through this. I love you." Thank you for the people who led me a little closer to You. Now open my eyes to see how you can use me to draw others. In Jesus' precious Name, amen.]

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