February 2, 2023 — Christ in You, The Hope of Glory; Then What?

“You know,” Stan commented, “we spend a lot of time talking about discipleship.”

“Yeah,” I replied, “What it is, what it isn’t, how to be a disciple, how not to be a disciple, whether all Christians are disciples, and all sorts of things. Why do you mention it again?”

“Because I think it’s important,” he said. “Seems to me that’s really what being a Christian is all about.”

“Being a disciple?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And as usually happens when I’m open to seeing and hearing what God has for me, I saw something else about this earlier this morning when I was reading in the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae.”

“Paul was writing to the Colossians about discipleship?” I asked.

“He didn’t specifically mention disciples or discipleship,” Stan replied, “but what he wrote near the beginning of the letter was to encourage the readers about Christ being in them. What he wrote seems to make a connection between the two.”

“The two what?”

“Christ in them and being disciples,” Stan replied.

“Oh,” I said. “If people don’t have the one, Christ in them, they won’t have the other, being disciples. Is that it?

“That’s what it looks like to me,” he replied.

“Well,” I said, “even if that’s true, and I’ll agree that it is, it still doesn’t answer the question of why there are so few disciples in the church.”

“In what way?” Stan asked.

“Discipleship doesn’t just happen all by itself,” I replied. “Even if we have Christ in us, don’t we have to do the other parts of what Jesus said about being disciples.”

“I think you’re right,” Stan said. “Christ in us is the hope of glory, but in order to be disciples on this side of eternity, we need to go on to deny ourselves, take up what He has for us to take up, and then follow as we work out what has been worked in, the hope of glory.”


Bible verses to consider:

To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, . . . . Matthew 28:19.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving your only begotten Son as the way to you for both sides of eternity. First, His finished work on the cross gives me life eternally in your presence when my time here is finished. In the meantime, while you keep me on this side of eternity, you have given Christ to live within me so I will be a disciple. I confess that too often I don’t deny myself, I don’t take up what you have for me to take up, and I don’t follow, all as you intend. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life you have given me without being a full-time disciple. Please help me to follow every step of your lead so I am who you intend and I am doing what you have for me while I remain on this side of eternity. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision so you have Christ in you and know you will spend eternity with Him when it’s time? If not, why would you want to spend eternity separated from God? That’s a long time! If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with living on this side of eternity? Are you manifesting that Jesus does, in fact, live in you by being a disciple? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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