Keep your eye on the ball
Are you a goal setter? Even if you don’t write them down, it is always a good idea to have personal and professional goals in mind. Goals give us a target to aim for; they help us to stay on track, make progress.
In his letter to the church in Colossae, the Apostle Paul wanted to make sure that they stayed in track and weren’t swayed by some of the false teaching that was causing confusion and division among the Believers there; so he offers three important faith goals and five critical steps that will help us remain disciplined and steadfast in our faith!
Three Faith Goals That Really Matter (Colossians 2:2-5)
Goal #1 - Experience unity with fellow Believers in faith essentials…. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love,… Colossians 1:2a
If I were giving marriage advice - and I try to stay out of the weeds with people on this - I would say “be completely united on faith matters.” Jesus called it being “equally yoked.” It is very important to be united on essential faith beliefs. The New Testament talks a lot about this. (Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10). For any “team” to be productive, whether it is at work, in sports or in our homes, unity is vital. God knows that for the church to be productive and successful in every way, unity really matters!
Goal #2 - Fully understand and share the Gospel message. 2 My goal… that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, Colossians 2:2:b
When you have an opportunity to share the gospel, will you be ready? Do you have a complete understanding of the gospel message? It is vital that you know it, believe it and share it! I offered a straightforward explanation of the gospel in the sermon this past Sunday at Watermark. If you didn’t hear it, please click below and listen. Here are some key passages to reference too: Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:22; Heb. 10:14; Rom. 5:8; Rom. 4:25; Jn 3:16-18; Rom. 8:1.
Goal #3 - Remain steadfast in my commitment to Christ in a wayward world. 2 My goal is… 4 …that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. Colossians 2:4b-5
Paul didn’t want these Believers to be swayed by the rhetoric that some false teachers were making about Christ and the gospel. The truth is that there are plenty of “fine-sounding arguments”, even in some churches today, that might pull people away from the true message of the gospel and the teaching of Scripture. Those messages often compromise Scripture order to fit some cultural or ideological agendas.
Remaining disciplined and steadfast in Christ is often counter-cultural. As a Christ-follower, you may find yourself often swimming against the flow in this world. Culture will pressure you to embrace values that may not match up with what the Bible teaches. Don’t get swept up in that cultural current. Remain steadfast!
So how can we remain steadfast in our faith?
Five Steps for Remaining Steadfast in My Faith (Colossians 2:6-10)
1) Walk with Christ daily…. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, Colossians 2:6.
Another translation reads walk with him. This word used here implies action and progress. When Paul says to live or walk in Christ, the idea is that we must be moving forward with Him. You can’t walk and remain in the same place. In your relationship with Christ, if you aren’t moving forward, then you are moving backward. Are you walking with Christ every day? Are you growing in your relationship with Him?
2) Stay firmly rooted and built up in Christ…. 7 rooted and built up in him, Colossians 2:7a
During two hefty wind storms over the past two years, I had two huge 60-80 foot pine trees fall in my yard. Before they fell, both of those trees looked really sturdy and strong, but their roots were shallow and weak. When the big winds hit, they fell hard and fast. The same can happen to us if we aren’t firmly rooted and built up in Christ. Jesus taught about the importance of building on a solid foundation. If you are going to remain steadfast in this wayward world, you better be firmly rooted and built up in Christ or you are at risk of falling hard.
3) Find my strength in Christ. 7…strengthened in the faith as you were taught. Colossians 2:7b
When I was in school I learned some basic weight-training skills that helped me stay in pretty good shape as long as I took training seriously. You won’t be surprised to know I haven’t taken weight training seriously in a long time! I’m getting weaker too. If you aren’t serious about staying strong in your faith, you will get puny and weak too. Paul says if we are going to remain steadfast, we must be strengthened in the faith! Are you getting stronger in your faith everyday? Are you working out… reading, studying, memorizing His Word daily, praying regularly, worshipping corporately weekly?
4) Let my gratitude to Christ spill over! 7…and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7c
It is easy to get down and depressed in life. People can let you down and circumstances can get you down. When that happens, we can be tempted to search for happiness in the wrong places. Culture would tell you to do whatever makes you happy. But as Believers, we must remain steadfast, resolute. To do that, it is imperative that we count our blessings daily; reflect on what God has done for us; think about what is right in our lives, not what is wrong. Is your gratitude waning or is it spilling over? If you are in Christ, you have much to be thankful for!
5) Keep my eyes firmly fixed on Christ!… (Colossians 2:8-10)
I was never a good hitter in baseball as a kid and I swung hard too; but now I know why. Every time I swung, I closed my eyes! I didn’t keep my eyes on the ball. And baseball is pretty simple… see ball, hit ball, run! Same is true in life. If you want to be steadfast in this wayward world, you better have your eyes glued on Christ or you will strike out! Are you distracted these days, focused elsewhere or are your eyes laser focused on Christ?
For much more. click here to listen to Steadfast: Part 5 - Keep Your Eyes on the Ball.