The state of my mind has been alternating between total excitement for the Grace and Truth Project, and total anxiety. I feel ill equipped, nervous, and definitely like the wrong person for the job! That may be better than a prideful attitude of 'oh, I've got this', but still, sitting down to work with the nagging voice of doubt ever-present is quite difficult. All of these thoughts were swirling in my mind this morning, first with excitement winning out, then anxiety. Back and forth, rinse, repeat. Besides that turmoil, there are a few other projects and activities in my life that I was feeling some stress about. It wasn't with a quiet mind that I grabbed my Bible this morning; but I'm so very glad that I started the day off well, with God's Word.
As I read, this morning's verses jumped off the page at me: "Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me." (Colossians 1:28-29) I had a multitude of 'Aha!' moments as I wrote out this passage and began meditating on the words. It's an amazing thing to realize how faithful God is to speak to our hearts when we take the time to focus on Him!
1. It is Christ that we proclaim (the hope of glory, as it says in the previous verse). As Christians, if our message ever loses that center, then we have failed and gone in the wrong direction.
2. Warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom... warning [truth] teaching [grace]. It's the perfect combination, always.
3. That we may present everyone mature in Christ. To be mature in Christ should be the goal of every believer. As I read that verse, I was struck by the realization that THAT is my ultimate goal in putting together this website and blog, and developing the curriculum (and other writing projects that are in the works, in my head at least). Maturity in Christ is what so many Christians lack today.
'Maturity in Christ' is also the very reason why I am so anxious about this project. I don't feel as if I am mature in Christ to the point of putting together the Grace and Truth Project as a whole, and the curriculum in particular. The disconcerting thing is that the closer I get to Christ and the more I focus my heart on Him, the more aware I am of all of the sin in my life! And yet, I am also convinced that God is calling me to this, and has been shaping my interests and experiences in the direction He wants me to go.
4. For this I toil- to present everyone mature in Christ. Paul, one of the most recognizable leaders of New Testament times, talks about "toils" and "struggling." It isn't easy for him, and we shouldn't expect our callings from God to be easy either.
5. Struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me. God is 'powerfully working' HIS own energy inside of Paul, as Paul does the work that God has called him to do! First point: Just because God is working within Paul, that doesn't mean that the calling is easy. Secondly, the rest of us shouldn't expect any less than God working mightily inside of us, even through struggles and toil, when we are doing the work that He has designed us to do: work that brings the glory to Him, in every action and word.