I am highlighting one aspect of discipleship that the Apostle mentions in response to what he has heard about the Colossians who need to know they are indeed true disciples.
The founder of the Baptist Missionary Society, William Carey (1761-1834) said these famous words in a sermon in 1792, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!”
Expect and so attempt great things from and for God.
The Apostle says these words, “… bearing fruit in every good work …” (Colossians 1:10)
Today is your day of success and a day when you can thrive. You can do good and do it really well!
Paul has already mentioned there is a fruit of the gospel (1:6). I heard yesterday of a church having 47 new people attend its first Alpha course!
Last evening I was in a meeting where we honoured a colleague who is retiring this year. The tributes paid spoke of a fruitful life. This fruit was the impact in other people’s lives.
Success doesn’t lead to pride because anything good that comes from us comes from God.
Success doesn’t make us better people than anyone else, we are just still children, loved by Him whether we are successful or not.
Success doesn’t just come because God chooses to work through us. It takes work. We know we do not just automatically love or be kind, we have to choose to do so.
Success doesn’t come for a few. As a disciple with the Holy Spirit within then you are enabled to do so.
Your life was meant to be a battle. If you wake today and you are struggling once again, then that is how life is.
At the end of the Bible we read these words: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22: 1-2
At the beginning of the Bible on the 3rd day of creation, we read these words:
“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds… And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth” and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.’ … So God created mankind in his own image, God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number”
In between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22 that both speak of fruitfulness there is conflict, struggle and the need to overcome many challenges to either keep the fruit or produce it.
I try and focus on 3 aspects in order to be successful.
- Culture: If God is working through me He will do it through a good soil, a good heart and a good atmosphere within my life. There are simply 3 things that produce this type of great culture: Prayer, Bible reading and Faith.
- Surrender: I have learnt this sentence and I try to live it out every single day – “It is never about me.” Complete and total submission to Jesus.
- Fight: The good fight. The forces behind people. The voices of doubt and negativity. The constant onslaught. The fiery darts. Changing the ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me’.
Those who don’t know success have been defeated in one of the 3 areas above.