21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. - Colossians 1:21-23
I think sometimes as mature Christians, we blow past these types of verses too quickly. We think since we already recognized our need for a Savior and surrendered our lives to Him, that we don’t need to spend much time meditating on who we once were. It’s like a checkbox we’ve already marked off - been there, done that, moving on.
But it is important we call to mind who were before Christ rescued us, it’s important we meditate on how very blind, how very alienated we were. When we look back to what He has done for us, it helps us to face our current situation. We can get so wrapped up in the drama of whatever we’re facing. Living this life can be downright overwhelming. When we’re in a season of trials upon trials, it can feel as if we’ve been abandoned, or that we will never be able to climb out of the pit. Our heavy hearts can cause us to question the very goodness of God, and wonder why He has forsaken us.
Reflecting on the truth that we were once alienated from the Creator of the universe can put our current trials into perspective. Before God rescued us, our situation was hopeless. We were doomed to eternal separation from the Creator, with no hope of reconciliation. THIS is the greatest problem that we have ever or will ever face, and God rescued us from it. If He rescued us from our most miserable condition, then we can trust He will rescue us from whatever is in front of us. He didn’t rescue us from eternal damnation to leave us on our own. He rescued us to walk with us, to refine and grow us to be more like Him, to spend eternity with us.
Reflecting on who we once were also helps us to understand unsaved people. If you’ve been on this journey for any length of time, you know that watching unsaved people live out their lives can prompt some pretty judgmental responses. We look at their choices and think they’re a fool. We need to remember our tragic state before rescue - how very blind we were to the truth until God opened our eyes. The things found in Scripture are folly to unbelievers - The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14. They literally cannot see what we see. This should prompt us toward compassion of those not yet saved, and lead us to pray earnestly for their lost souls.
Finally, recognizing who we once were should prompt us to be the most compassionate and forgiving people that the people in our lives know. We were wretched sinners before He chose to forgive us. He didn’t give us the silent treatment, He didn’t place conditions on our forgiveness, He didn’t say our sin was too big. Nope, He just opened His loving arms and welcomed us home as soon as we asked. That’s the kind of forgiveness we are called to have for each other. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
I’m so thankful for Paul’s reminder of who we were and what Jesus has done for us. I need to be reminded of His rescue often. It’s so easy for me to plow through my day, focused on my mission, while losing focus on the most important decision in my life. But God. He rescued me from a life of misery. Thank you, Jesus.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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