Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Colossians 2:6-8, where the Bible says,   

 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.


I remember a story that illustrates the truth that whatever you earn or amass in this life, “you can't take it with you!” It is meant to get us thinking about the meaning and purpose of living, both now and forever. An extremely wealthy man REFUSED to believe that he couldn’t take it with him. He lived his whole life with a disdain for the idea. As a result, he lived at a feverish pace, buying and selling, selling and buying, accumulating, accumulating, accumulating. His life was a demonstration of the notion that REAL LIVING IS THE PURSUIT AND OWNERSHIP OF MATERIAL THINGS! But he wasn't satisfied with this. He wanted to take it with him. So in his will he left all his money to himself! He was to have all his assets sold for cash and buried with him. He told the undertaker to bury him in his 1989 Cadillac Seville, dressed in His $2,500 hand-sewn silk suit, with his money stuffed in the car.

When he died, the undertaker had to hire a crane operator to lift the car with the him behind the wheel and all his money stuffed around him, and lower all of this into a grave. While the car was being hoisted into the grave, one of the men who had dug the grave said to another worker, "MAN, THAT'S REALLY LIVING."

Well, according to the Bible, “NO, IT’S NOT!” In fact, living like that is really being DEAD WHILE YOU’RE ALIVE! The painful reality of life is that ALL THE “EARTHLY STUFF” GOES BACK INTO THE BOX WHEN IT’S OVER, literally and figuratively. But that’s why Paul calls us to focus our attention on our new life in Christ, now and forever. He points out that even the best things of this sinful world are hollow and deceptive without Jesus. It’s a hard lesson to learn. But money can’t save us or fulfill our lives. Politics can’t save us; it won’t give us the purpose in life that we so desperately need. Even our technology and education won’t amount to much when the ultimate questions of life need to be answered.

Only Jesus can do all of that because He is your creator and your redeemer, and the one who can make God’s love come alive in you now and forever. Paul says that real living starts and also endures when we receive Christ by grace through faith, and then continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him to serve others in the thankfulness that such a life engenders.

So today, it’s back to basics. How’s your relationship with Jesus? Are you connected to Him by the reading and contemplating of His Word? Are you living in the promises of your Baptism? Are you connected to the gifts of His Supper? Are you hearing His Word in worship? That’s the essence of living! Then are you growing up in your faith as you mature in your service toward others in Jesus’ Name?

One of my favorite passages of the Bible is when Jesus says that we are to receive the kingdom of God as “a little child” (Luke 18:17). Jesus is talking about an attitude that trusts in Him as a little child trusts in his/her parents. YES, RECEIVE THE KINGDOM LIKE A CHILD! But we are also to GROW UP in that faith in service to others (see Ephesians 4:13-16; 1 Peter 2:2). Instead of growing OUT of a child-like faith, we should all want to grow UP in it because that’s what real living is all about!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me a child-like confidence that trusts in Your Word always as I seek to grow up by living life maturely and capably for others in Your name. AMEN.

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