The Story: The Bible’s Grand Narrative of Redemption, One Year Daily Devotional for Students, is targeted towards high school and college students. It will take you through the entire story of the Bible in one year. You won’t read every single chapter of the Bible, but you’ll read at least portions from every part of the developing story of God’s salvation for his people. Each day, you’ll read a Scripture passage – usually one chapter or so and sometimes just a few verses. After reading the passage, you’ll read an explanation of the passage, which will seek to make the passage clear, remind you of its place in the story, and make an application to your life.
Read a sample devotional below: Day 323*
Colossians 1: 15-23
Jesus is Lord, and Jesus is enough. You could probably sum up the message of the book of Colossians with that simple sentence. To put it in more technical terms, Colossians argues for the supremacy and the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Jesus is supreme – the infinitely holy, wise, and powerful God of all creation. Jesus is sufficient – more than enough to not only save and forgive people but also to sustain and empower them for the Christian life. Paul’s goal in the letter to the church at Colossae is to lift Jesus high – to exalt him as the glorious Lord who is more than enough for his people. But why does Paul feel the need to send this message to this church?
It seems that as this church grew, certain people who were opponents of the true gospel of grace began to creep into the community. This happens a lot in the New Testament churches; that should be a lesson for us today! While the essence of the “Colossian heresy” is debated, it seems most likely that it was some kind of Jewish-related mysticism – a strange spirituality that promised deeper holiness, truer knowledge, and a more advanced level of spiritual development. Paul’s goal in this letter is to counter this heresy by showing that nothing more than Jesus is needed – either for salvation or for the Christian life.
In the glorious passage you read today, you saw Paul lifting up Jesus as, first, the Creator of the world. Jesus – the eternally existent second person of the Trinity – was active in creation. We must not forget that! Next, Paul points us to the primacy that Jesus has in relation to the church of God. “And he is the head of the body, the church,” writes Paul; he is also the “firstborn from the dead” (1:18). More than all this, Jesus is the one who brings eternal salvation, peace, and forgiveness through his work on the cross. It is in Christ that we are reconciled to God, because of the “blood of his cross” (1:20). Jesus – Creator, head of the church, bearer of the cross. It’s as if Paul is shouting, “Why would you want or need anything else?”
Do you really – practically – believe that Jesus is enough? Enough to say no to sin? Enough to fill you will ultimate joy, satisfaction, and peace? Paul tells us to believe that Jesus is sufficient for us in every way. Today, pray that you would believe this. Ask God to help you rest in your Savior even more!
*Excerpt taken from page 339 of The Story: The Bible’s Grand Narrative of Redemption, One Year Daily Devotional for Students by Jon Nielson, copyright 2014, P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ.