Colossians 3:1-3, 11b-17, 23 ”Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God… but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it ALL IN the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
These words cited above from Colossians helped change my life and drew me closer to God, which is one of the reasons I was so excited when God placed Colossians 3:17 on Kory’s heart as the verse for our stewardship campaign. In Chapter 3 of his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul (as he often does) implores Christ followers to unite as one community and serve Christ with great passion – to serve God in a way that’s ALL IN. Paul begins with a truth about the good news, but then he asks some tough questions. If we are raised together with Christ and seated at the right hand of God, why are we focused on worldly things? Why are we not more passionately focused on Christ and our eternal home?
But back to my story. My wife, Jennifer and I have been members of Custer Road since 1991, and we have had the privilege of both leading and participating in seven Crown Ministries Bible studies at the church. These studies allowed us to carefully and prayerfully consider what God is telling us about Christian stewardship. Just as meaningfully, it allowed us to explore these scriptures in close Christian community with dozens of members of our congregation.
One of the things that I struggled with (and I learned through Crown groups that many struggle with) is how to reconcile our “worldly” roles with our Christian calling to love the Lord and to love others with ALL of our being. In school I studied accounting and finance and I spent my entire career in corporate finance. As a result, I questioned, “How can I be an executive focused on making money for shareholders, while at the same time, love God with ALL my being?” For some of you this may be easy, but for me (and many others), the struggle is real. I asked this question of myself and God for years. I found the answer in Colossians 3.
I decided that everything I do must be done in service of God. In verse 3:23, a Crown memory verse, Paul calls upon Christ followers to do WHATEVER they do ‘ALL IN’ for the Lord. I came to understand that I didn’t need to be a minister or a missionary to serve God with everything I have. I came to understand that God could honor WHATEVER work I do, as long as I do it ALL IN the name of the Lord. This deepened my understanding that everything we do, we can do for the Lord; that ALL we have comes from God; and that the power of God works in ALL circumstances.
What worldly concerns distract you from God?
How is God calling you closer to him?
How can you be more ALL IN for God?
What is God calling you to give?
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