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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Different Message

by Ian Coates

23 October 2009

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See to it that no-one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2: 8, NIV

In this letter Paul is telling us that the Christian is complete in Christ rather than lacking anything or having deficiencies, as the Gnostics of the day were teaching. We are complete in Christ Jesus and we would be better to consider ourselves as ‘no longer sinners but as saints who have the potential to sin!’ This completeness we have in Jesus includes the putting off the sinful nature, resurrection from spiritual death, forgiveness of sin, and deliverance from legalism and evil spirits (Colossians 2:11-15).
What I have noticed recently is that so many people are taking on the world’s standards and they seem to be totally unaware of the fact. The challenge to us as Christians is ‘Can we be identified as different from the rest of the world? Or are we just trying to conform like everyone else?’ The spies who came back with their reports explained what they had seen. The difference was that they were ‘men of a different spirit’. Shouldn’t we stand out from the crowd? Or are our fears and inhibitions holding us back from being the people God created us to be?

God calls us to be a holy people. But the world is seeking happiness! Are we seeking a life of ease and pleasure or are we seeking to move into our God-given destiny, work and calling? Many Christians have taken on the current eating fads and are following diets to control their weight. Lisa Bevere explains in her book ‘You are not What you Weigh’ that dieting is the devil’s counterfeit to fasting! How many seek position and status rather than a servant heart? God has not called us to success, but faithfulness, fuelled by compassion.

The world is gripped by fear but, as believers, we can know freedom and what it means to be loved by a Father who is a Covenant keeping God. We are loved and accepted. And that means we don’t need to live in the fear of being rejected by anyone, because our security is in Him.

We’re constantly bombarded in the media with the realms of unreality. Films, TV programmes and Soaps, all lead away from the truth and reality of our lives. But it’s only as we encounter the truth with ‘the Truth’ that our lives are going to be transformed. Pushing away or dissociating from reality won’t resolve our problems. It just leaves them to come up another day!

Jesus came to set the captives free, heal the broken hearted, and take all our pain on the tree. The world we live in today would tell us that we have to live with our sicknesses and manage our pain. But didn’t Jesus say that He’d come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly?

We do have a different message to bring to the world, not just a theory or theology but a life transforming experience in Jesus. Let’s lay hold of all that He’s won for us on the cross and experience ‘the finished work of the cross’ .We sell the cross short and make God less than He really is if we don’t keep Him as our Covenant keeping God who has made every provision for us in Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that in You I can be made complete. Help me to come into a deeper and closer relationship with our Father and to experience all the blessing that You have won for me on the Cross. I choose to put away old habits of behaviour and choose to face the reality of my life knowing that You can bring about the changes that are going to glorify your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ian Coates Ian has served with Ellel Ministries since its inception. He is part of the Executive Leadership team and is Centre Director at Ellel Grange, where the team will soon be hosting the nine week Flagship School. His sensitive but direct teaching helps people to face the real issues in their lives without feeling they are being pressurised or condemned.


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