Christ is All in All

Christ is All in All

Do you see the repeated words/phrases I highlighted in this text? When you study the Bible inductively it is crucial to look (observe) repeated words. It takes a little practice, but over time you will begin to see the cream of key repeated words rise to the top of your passage. I will always remember my fourth grade teacher sharing a story from her childhood growing up on a farm in a rural town. After the cows were milked, she would wait patiently for the cream to rise to the top. Mrs. Sanford (I can envision her head of red hair to this day!), would skim off and put some of that incredibly sweet cream into her mouth for a tasty treat.

God’s Word is so much more sweet than any by-product of fresh milk. We shudder today to think of ingesting such a cholesterol-laden morsel, don’t we? The Bible, on the other hand, is both life and health to our soul. It doesn’t way us down with the type of fat deposits that are detrimental to our health.

Take a bite out of this text today. See Christ! He is the center of the book of Colossians and the whole of Scripture! Take out a notebook and make a list of what you learn from every reference to Jesus Christ and the tiny, but enriching word, ALL.

(Colossians 1:15–20 (NASB95)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or                      dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will               come to have first place in everything.
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I             say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Total Rebuild or Partial Repairs

Total Rebuild or Partial Repairs

Studying the book of Nehemiah has awesome lessons on the subject of Leadership. I’ve observed it inductively a few times and participated in Bible studies in this book. I am presently back in Nehemiah for my personal study time. I avoided restudying this thirteen chapter section of God’s Word because I was so familiar with it’s main lessons for my life. How foolish! How prideful!

I am studying Nehemiah “inductively” which means I observe the text of God’s Word before I turn to man’s commentaries. As I read through the Scriptures, I mark repeated words and phrases. I was struck today by the words “built” and “repaired” in Nehemiah 3. If you decide to get into Nehemiah yourself, you will discover “Jerusalem’s wall was broken down and its gates burned with fire”. Nehemiah 1:3 Remember that context rules when you read the Bible and the key words above help you understand why there is a Chapter 3.

While the words “built” and “repaired” refer to Jerusalem’s actual wall and gates, I began to meditate on these two words. Applying God’s Word is crucial to study….taking it in and living it out. On a personal note, there have been seasons where the Lord graciously and totally rebuilt some area of my life. At other times, all I needed was a repair to my behavior or thinking. Romans 12:1-2 If I dwell on the rebuilding or repairing process, I will live in the “yesterdays” of my spiritual journey. It is beneficial to look back and see where He has done His sanctifying work, but to dwell there prevents me from living in the “today”. Daily He continues to repair the broken pieces of my life and I am so grateful. I am a work in progress and so are you! That wall and those gates were motionless as the people took hammer and chisel to reshape them into a wall and gates. So it is, God does the same in our lives…He does the rebuilding and repairing. We, like bricks and wood, do the yielding to His tools of restoration.

Is God the Father doing a total remodel in you now? Or maybe some much needed and neglected repairs. Be the clay and allow Him to form you into the image of Jesus.

If you want to jump into Nehemiah yourself, simply read through the book. Here are a few words you want to look for and mark:

  1. God of heaven
  2. Pray
  3. Wall
  4. Rebuild
  5. Repair

Also, make a list on a piece of paper of everything you learn about the God of heaven. Don’t forget to think on these things and put faith into practice.