Colossians Bible Study Day 4 of 14
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering 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. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1: 24-29
In verse 24 Paul writes one of the more confusing lines in all of the New Testament letters.
“… and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions…”
What could possibly be lacking from Christ’s afflictions? How dare Paul say such a thing! Right?
Well, Paul explains himself in the next verse by saying that he has become a servant “by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness…”
In other words, Paul has become a missionary, which is exactly what you and I are called to be. We, too, make up for what is lacking in regards to Christ’s affliction. Not by doing anything to earn God’s favor or forgiveness, but instead by letting others know of God’s love for them.
What an honor! We get to participate in God’s plan. He does not need us, but He has chosen us, Christians, to announce His love to the world.
How are you doing at that?
Think of someone you know who could use some love. Now schedule a time to talk with them (in person, over the phone, or for lunch). Do not feel you must share the gospel with them. Instead, pray for the meeting and then be attentive when you are with them. If an opportunity to share the gospel arises then feel the freedom to share Jesus’s love for them, but if it does not then leave in peace knowing that you have deepened a friendship.