ODJ: how we know

August 1, 2013 

READ: Colossians 2:1-4 

I want [you] to have complete confidence (v.2).

My sons are picking up on the way TV advertisers play games with viewers, twisting statistics and making outrageous claims. I fear it won’t be long before my boys become jaded and are slow to trust. Many of us struggle with this in our faith:How can I believe anything at all? How can I trust what God says?
The apostle Paul spoke directly to this concern, telling the Colossians that he hoped they would have “complete confidence” in “God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself” (Colossians 2:2). Paul cared little about the Colossians buying into a religious system or a codified, abstract set of theological or moral principles. Rather, Paul desired that they would find their settled hope in one person: Jesus Christ. It was in Him alone that they would discover “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (v.3).

Too often, in our well-intentioned efforts to give people ‘the truth’, we provide them with arguments, histories or fine logic. All this may have its place, but the invitation of the gospel is always first to come to a person—to Jesus.

We understand Jesus, as we do any person, through relationship and friendship. This must be why Paul makes this distinct connection: “My goal is that [you] may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that [you] may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that [you] may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ” (vv.2-3 NIV).

In other words, encountering a ‘Jesus community’ where your heart is encouraged and you experience the uniting friendship of deep love is the environment where you discover confidence in Jesus’ message. We need to experience the effect of Jesus’ truth through relationship with one another. —Winn Collier

› Luke 10:25-42

Missionary Lesslie Newbigin writes, “The gospel does not become public truth for a society by being propagated as a theory or as a worldview. . . . It can become public truth only insofar as it is embodied in a society (the church).” How is this live 
How have you struggled with having confidence in God? How might your Christian community help you?