We all could use some encouragement and we'll find it together today in the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton on this edition of The Encouraging Word. Today Dr. Wilton continues his study in the book of Colossians. We'll be at Colossians chapter 1 verse 15 in just a moment. But also Dr. Wilton wants to remind you that in this day and age, we need courage. Here's how we stand strong.
We become the salt and light God calls us to be. We have wonderful resources available right now on our website. A book from Michael Anthony called A Call for Courage and a message from Dr. Wilton, Be Salt and Light. I pray that you'll visit our website and see how you can get a copy. www.tewonline.org is the site. That's www.tewonline.org, also the place to sign up for the daily encouraging word devotional from Dr. Don.
That's www.tewonline.org. Now today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. The Encouraging Word. I want to read to you what he tells these believers. And the bottom line is he says, look, I get all of that. And I realize the battle that you face.
And I'm using the word you. What I want to tell you right out the hatch is look to Jesus. Just look to keep your eyes on Jesus. Verse 15.
This is why. Because Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He's the firstborn over all creation. For by him, all things were created. Things in heaven, on earth, visible, invisible, where the thrones or powers or rulers or authority. All things were created by him.
And watch the next part for him. Verse 17. He is before all things and in Jesus, all things hold together. Jesus is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything, Jesus might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus. And through Jesus to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth, things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, which was shed on the cross. Once you believers were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your sinful, your evil behavior. But now, Jesus, but now God has reconciled you to himself because of all things.
This has been done. Look at this verse, guys. I'm breaking it down here in the middle of reading it.
Look at how this happens. Verse 22. Through Christ's physical body, which through death was the only means by which to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free of accusation, so that if you continue in your faith, establish and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel which you've heard and that has been proclaimed of every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, who wrote this, have become a servant. Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, which is the church. Believers, I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness. The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages, but is now disclosed to all believers, made known to all the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery which Christ in you the hope of glory. We proclaim Jesus. Verse 28, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end, Paul says, I labour, struggling with all of God's given energy which so powerfully works in me. Now look, there's a lot of things we can say to each other in our world.
There's a lot of things. I, like you, like moms and dads and teachers and coaches and everybody, we all want to give advice. I'm telling you the greatest thing we can ever say or know is to point everyone in all things to Jesus. That's what Paul's saying.
So here's the question, why? Paul gives seven major reasons why Jesus. I'm just going to give them to you. I want you to know, pray for me, because every one of these seven is a humdinger.
All right? I mean this, can you imagine? So here's point number one, why Jesus? Why would he tell these people who are facing pagans and religious people and the cruelty of the Roman Empire and who are suffering with diseases and who are struggling with their children and who are struggling financially and need to find something to eat and all the things that we go, why would he point them to Jesus? Number one, because Jesus is the image of God. Now, I mentioned this, if you were here last week, so I'll just say it quickly, verse 15.
Look what he starts with. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He's saying here, believers, let me tell you how you're going to be strong. Look to Jesus. Number one, because when you look to Jesus, you're actually looking to God. He's the image of God.
By the way, the word there is the word icon. He is the exact representation of God, but he's not only the representation of God, he is the manifestation of God, which means that Jesus is the full, final and complete revelation, the making known, that's the word revelation. Revelation is to take back the covers, to make known. The book of Revelation, which I got a lot of people asking me to preach on the book of Revelation again, because it's in times, it's so critical.
What is that? It throws back, right, the cover, and it shows us what God is thinking, what God is saying about the end of the world. Jesus is the full throwing back all that we need to know about God. You want to know about God? Look to Jesus. He's the image of God. He's the exactness of God, because he is God. Okay, so number two, second reason why Paul tells them to look to Jesus, because Jesus is the creator of all things.
Now guys, watch this. Don't look to anybody else. Look to Jesus, because he created everything, even you. And Paul here says, look, look to Jesus. He is in the image of God. He is God and he's creator. And number three, he's the sustainer of everything.
He's the sustainer. I mean, look at, look at verse 17 here, guys, it jumps out. He is before all things and the second part. I think this is a fantastic verse. And in Jesus, what?
I've just spoken about this. Jesus holds all things together. The heavens declare the glory of God and the expanse of the heavens declare the works of his hands. Because he sustains it all, everything. He maintains this delicate balance necessary for life's existence that we talked about under God creator.
But it's specific to God Jesus, sustainer. He is the power behind every consistency in the universe. He is gravity and centrifugal force. He is Jesus. He is the one who keeps all entities in motion. He is the very energy of the universe. So take Jesus out of what you're doing right now.
You don't stand a chance. Jesus is God, made the universe. He existed outside it.
He existed before it and he exists living in it, sustaining it by the might and power of his grace, love and wisdom. And here these people like you and me, they've got school to go to, their decisions to make, money to earn. They need to put bread on the table. They, listen, man, how many of our people are we praying with right now that are on the edge? I've had numerous calls.
I got numerous, we had numerous friends who are hurting badly today. Number four, here's the fourth one. This is just piling on top. You got to keep tally here. So he's the image of God. He's the creator of all things. He's the sustainer of everything.
But I love the fourth one. He says, look to Jesus because he's the head of the church. Now the word here, not just a matter of building, he's talking to a local congregation of believers, but he's talking to believers, we the church, the body of Christ, believers. Let me tell you why you can be strong.
That's what he's saying. You are strong because Jesus is the head of the church. Look at verse 18. I didn't say this, God said it. And he is the head of the body, the church. So if he is the head of the church, think of your own head. Again here, I'm getting into dangerous waters, but you know that this little thing here, this head controls your whole body. So I'm put it in, I mean, this summer you're going to croak over this. Your head keeps telling the rest of your body what to do. How to respond. Hey, get this one.
You ready for this? Your head is the only means by which your body cooperates. I've got a couple of good friends who have suffered strokes. When a person suffers a stroke, it affects the coordination of their body.
Because it affects their brain. Do you see that? Paul looks at believers at the church. He said, church, you don't ever want to suffer a stroke. You want to become problematic, just mess with the head. And who's the head? Jesus. So when you understand that, here's what you understand about the headship of Jesus. Means number one, Jesus controls everything. Number two, Jesus energizes everything.
And get this one. Jesus coordinates everything. He coordinates the diversity of gifts. So if you take us meeting like this and you look out and you think about all the gifts, all the abilities, even in one audience, people, you're so gifted. So how do you bring that all together to bring glory to the Lord? The head does it. He coordinates. So he controls, he energizes, and he coordinates.
He's the very source of the church. Forgive the interruption. We'll be back with the rest of today's message in just a moment. But Dr. Wilton wants me to remind you, we're here for you to pray 24 hours a day at this number, 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. Or to connect online on our website at www.tewonline.org. You'll find wonderful resources, opportunities to sign up for the daily Encouraging Word. Email from Dr. Don and more.
That's online at www.tewonline.org. Right now, there's a remarkable resource about how we can stand strong. No one is born courageous, but everyone hopes to have courage when the time comes. This month, for your gift of $25 or more to the Encouraging Word, you will receive Be Salt and Light, a powerful two-message series by Dr. Wilton that includes a Christian's response to a nation in crisis and a Christian response to a personal attack. Plus, you will receive A Call for Courage, a soul-stirring book that will help motivate you into action. Both of these ministry resources will help you know why you should respond and how to respond when under attack. Remember, God has not given us the spirit of fear.
You can stand up. Call us at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. And request to Be Salt and Light and the bonus book, A Call for Courage, today. Thank you for listening and thank you for supporting the Encouraging Word. Now is the time to spread the gospel.
Again, that's just one of many resources on our website, www.tewonline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. So, number five, look to Jesus.
All right, now we've got it. He's the head of the church. Look to Jesus.
Why? Because He is the fullness of God. All right, let's go to verse 19. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Jesus.
Oh, wow. Look, go down to chapter 2. Chapter 2 and verse 10, which at this rate we're never going to get to. Chapter 2 and verse 10.
Look what He says here. Let's read verse 9. For in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form. And you have been given the fullness of Christ who is the head.
Is it all coming together here? Okay, now listen to my question. How many of you just right now would say, you know you've given your heart to the Lord Jesus. You're a Christian man, a Christian lady, boy or girl. You've given your heart to Jesus.
Raise your hand. All right, here's what Jesus says to you. You, my friend, believer, you've been given all the fullness of God. You know, when you get married, one of the things married couples say to each other is what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine. And then we spend the rest of our lives trying to do that.
It's hard. Can you imagine when you give your heart to Jesus that this great God says, because of Jesus, everything that I am is yours. That's strong. That's church strong. That's why you can say greater is he that's in me than the devil that's in the world.
I am in Christ. And when he talks about all the fullness, he is the fullness of God. Here, these people at Colossi were in a community where there were so many pagan gods and religious beliefs, and they believed that divine power was assigned to different deities. It was kind of spread out among the gods.
You get a little dab of it over here and you get a little dab over there. And if you do this and you don't do that and you wear this and you don't wear that and you stand up or you sit down or you this and you that, you, this fullness comes to you from all. Jesus said, look to me, because this is what I've given you. I am the fullness of God. Number six, why look to Jesus?
This could be my favourite point, but I've got one more after that. Because Jesus is the reconciler for all sinners. So how many of you, I'm really getting carried away with this, but how many of you right now would readily say before God that you're a sinner? Raise your hand.
Thank you. And, yeah, you've heard it before, if your hand wasn't up because you're just too big to do it, you just sinned. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Anyone here today that in a sense you are living a life under accusation? Are you feeling accused? Are you living in bondage because of something you did? Listen, my friends, listen. Paul's saying look to Jesus because he set you free.
You are no longer accused. Some of us go through life dragging this thing behind us. All the stuff we did, all the sin, all the mistakes, all the wrong things we said. And we messed up. We made the wrong choice. We went to the wrong place. We did the wrong thing. We sinned against God. We once was.
And what Jesus does is he just cuts that dirty old box. You don't have to go through life dragging all that stuff anymore. You're free.
You're without accusation. It's fantastic. It's unbelievable. And so he closes with one more. What's the number seven? He says look to Jesus in verse 27 because Jesus is our hope and our glory. It's right there in verse 27. Right at the end he said, To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, our hope of glory, our hope.
Where would this life be if we didn't have real hope? You know I've been with our young people for years. 27 years we went to prisons all over America and always remember, I mean this happened many times, but I always remember a man one time in a big old ugly prison and he had a life sentence and we shared Jesus and the young people sang and it was just fantastic.
And I remember my brief conversation with this man because he talked to me afterwards. He gave his life to Christ and we were able to talk to the inmates and never forget that particular man. He said, you know, pastor, he said, I've got consecutive life sentences. In fact, he had three life sentences. You want me to roughly translate that for you?
He was 40 years old. He was telling me, which he did, he said, I will never get out of prison. I'm in prison paying the price for the rest of my life. And then he looked at me with tears running down his cheeks and he said, you know, whether I'm on the inside or the outside today, I gave my heart to Jesus and I have been set free.
Guys, that's our hope and our glory. It speaks to me now, but I'm going to go ahead and say this. It also tells me that I can look forward to eternal life with Jesus. That big mystery, that thing called death, it's going to happen to everybody.
The Bible says when you're absent from the body, you're present with the Lord. Isn't that fantastic? Would you just bow your heads with me for a minute as our band comes and joins me? Just for a few seconds here today. Just before anybody leaves, I know you've got to go and pick up beautiful children and get lunch ready. And we've got all the things, we've got life. We're going to leave here and we're going to go back out there into this wonderful, crazy, challenging, exciting, not so good sometimes, sometimes flat out awful.
I don't know where you are. We all have a life to live, but that will soon be past. You know what Paul was saying? It's only what's done for Jesus that we're lost. Would you give your life to Jesus?
Have you trusted Him? I can only tell you I've given my heart to Jesus. In this little world that we live in, He's made all the difference to me. And He'll do the same thing because He treats us all the same. He doesn't do something for one of us and not for another.
He loves you. And I want to invite you today to put your faith and your trust in Jesus. That's the starting point. Would you pray this prayer with me today? And I'm telling you, if you are right on the edge, just do this. Pray this prayer from your heart because Jesus will save you and He'll reconcile you to God.
Your life will never be the same again. You pray this prayer. Dear God, I know that Jesus is God. And I believe that Jesus died for me on a cross because of my sin.
And that He was raised from the dead, that He's alive. And because of that, I can be saved from my sin and reconcile to God. I confess my sin to you, Jesus, right now. And I put my faith and my trust in you. And I pray this prayer in Jesus' name.
Amen. Perhaps you were praying along with Dr. Wilton moments ago and it's time, you know, for a change of direction. It's time to rededicate your life to Jesus. Come back into the family of God. Or it's time to start afresh and anew and become a follower of Jesus. We have wonderful free resources Dr. Wilton wants you to have if you've given your life to Christ or are ready to rededicate your life.
If you'll call us at 866-899-WORD, jot the number down, store it in your cell, 866-899-9673. We'll connect you with one of us 24 hours a day. Happy to talk and pray with you.
Happy to help you connect with wonderful resources. That resource right now on our website, A Call for Courage and Be Salt and Light, is a powerful reminder of how we can take a stand even when the culture is pushing back against us as Jesus followers. And watch God through His love and His truth change those around us. Perhaps they're members of your own family or your neighborhood or people you work with that we can pray with you about. We are seeing God do remarkable things through the power of prayer. Remember we're here at 866-899-9673, 24 hours a day. That's 866-899-9673 or online at www.tewonline.org. The Encouraging Word is sponsored by the Encouraging Word Ministries and your generous financial and prayer support. If you want to discover more about what it is to be an encourager to us, discover it online at www.tewonline.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-26 18:44:52 / 2023-07-26 18:53:57 / 9