Colossians 1:24-2:5 – “For This I Toil”
Sermon Notes/Questions…

What are you working for? A great retirement package? Your work? Your house? Your cars?

Question: Do we diminish our lives by obsessing or focussing our lives on our wants and pleasures?
What is your life’s work? For what do we toil so that at the end of our lives our hearts are not empty? For what did Paul toil? He toiled to make known the mystery. He toiled to make up for what was lacking in Christ’s sufferings. What kind of suffering did Paul rejoice in? Paul isn’t promoting massocism, but, do we embrace suffering like he did? Of any kind? Is any amount of suffering enough or too much?

For what do we toil? We should toil for the church. The church must be the best presentation of Christ and why he died for us.

The church is like the bark that protects the tree. The structures of the church are like dead bark, yet necessary. Christ’s body is the church (the living inner part). What are we committed to? The structures or the life of the body? What we do at church is supposed to be liturgical, an intentional symbol of the rest of our lives, not dead or empty words and actions. So, is our priority to be in Christ, alive? Colossians 2:2 says “Being united in love so that…” In Christ, we are one. All races, poverty, riches, nationalities, etc. We are all one in Christ.

We must make known the mystery of the Christ within us.
Question: Why do kids who grow up in the Church leave it? What we need more of is not apologetics or committees but authenticity among all of us, and for ourselves. Our lives, in and of themselves, must reflect Chrst and draw people into the church.

In other eras the authenticity of the church was reflected in its care for the sick (recall the plague), and the elderly. How do we reflect authenticity today? What are we doing? Do people connect our deeds with Christ? Do we want them to? For THIS Paul toiled. For THIS many have toiled over the centuries.

It is not by our generosity, but by God’s that we enter heaven. While we must toil to avoid the hell of this world, whose flames of greed, selfishness, cold calculation, grip us with indifference, pride, and many other such things–we must toil all the more to follow God’s example! Be generous in your earthly life. Give of your money, time, live, care, hospitality, etc.
We must make known the mystery of the Christ within us.