During a recent visit from my adult children, we happened to be discussing inscriptions found in
old Bibles. I went through my old study bible and found a verse underlined and titled “Life
Verse”. I explained to them that when I was a young Christian in the early 90’s (I am dating
myself here) a bible teacher recommended that I should have a “life verse”. For those not
familiar with the concept, according to the authoritative Dictionary of Christianese, a “life verse”
is “A specific Bible verse that a Christian believes to be especially representative or predictive of
his or her life. Many Christians regard their life verse as an inspirational motto or lifelong mission
statement.” My “life verse” happened to be from Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word
or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”.
The first time studying the book of Colossians, I was enthralled with Colossians 3. I got
carried away, practically underlined the whole chapter and titled it “Life Chapter”. As I continued
pouring through the study of the book of Colossians, I finally inscribed it as my “Life Book.”
If you couldn’t tell already, the book of Colossians made an impact on me and continues to have
a very special place in my life. With that being said, I am very encouraged by the new sermon
series this spring in Colossians, “Grow.” The book of Colossians was such a formative book in
my early Christian life because the themes that the Apostle Paul touches on in this book were
disruptive and earth-shattering. This new sermon series is bringing them to life again. Through
the high Christological emphasis in Colossians, Christ’s preeminence in creation (Colossians
1:15-18), Christ’s preeminence in redemption (Colossians 1:19-21) and Christ’s preeminence in
the church (Colossians 1:24-29), I encountered the depth and breadth of the life-changing love
of Jesus Christ.
Personally, I especially resonated with Colossians 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the
domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” In reading this verse for the very first time, I was blown
away because it was so descriptive of the work that Christ did in my life. I was not raised in a
Christian home. If I could describe my life it was one that was deeply trapped in the trenches of
the “domain of darkness”. Later in my walk as Christian, as the vicissitudes of life occurred,
there were disappointments, setbacks, and discouragements along the way. The one true
constant was always the work of Christ, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins”, “having made peace through the blood of his cross”.
My prayer for both of our congregations is that we capture a new and deeper vision of the
marvelous grace and beauty of the redemption and forgiveness of sins we have, through his
“beloved Son,” as we grow together through the book of Colossians.