ODJ: Finding Focus

March 25, 2016 

READ: Colossians 2:6-15 

As you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your . . . lives be built on him (vv.6-7).

In 1977, Chris Bonington and Doug Scott became the first mountain climbers to summit an infamous peak known as The Ogre in Pakistan. During their descent, however, Doug slipped and broke both of his legs. Chris also had a mishap resulting in several broken ribs. Doug, who crawled for 12 days over rocks, snow, and ice to make it back down the mountain, said he did so by focusing on “one feature at a time. A nub of rock, a pinnacle. Get there and then think about the next bit. Because to think about the whole thing was a bit mind-boggling.” Amazingly, both men survived.

The focus Chris and Doug displayed reminds me of the focus that Paul encouraged the Colossians to maintain in their spiritual ascent—a call to stay strong and not fall. The apostle, from prison, told the new believers at Colossae to persist in their faith in Jesus. “As you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him,” he wrote. “Let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the tRuth you were taught” (Colossians 2:6-7).

In order for the believers in Colossae to survive and thrive spiritually, they had to set their sights on Christ. Pressures from outside the church and false teachers within it were dangerous adversaries that could cause them to slip and fall (1:11, 2:8). Paul wanted them to see that because of what Jesus had done, they could press on in their faith: “He forgave all [their] sins”; “He canceled the record” of their sins; “He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities”; “He [provided] victory . . . on the cross” (vv.13-15).

Are you distracted or discouraged today? Remember what Jesus has done, and find all you need in Him to press on!

—Tom Felten

365-day-plan: 1 Samuel 14:1-23

Read Hebrews 12:1-3 and consider what it means to keep your eyes on Jesus. 
What have you been encountering lately that’s threatened your faith in Jesus? How can you rely on His power to press on spiritually?