DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: ‘Christ in you’ is your hope of glory
We are in a relationship with Jesus. The apostle Paul declares that Jesus is in us and this is our promise – our guarantee – of glory.
I performed a wedding ceremony recently. The elderly couple who stood before me had made serious commitments to each other several months ago. They were engaged and anticipated declaring themselves before witnesses. At their wedding, they pledged certain things to God and to each other, and did this in front of people! There was the dress, the rings, the signing, the food and all that goes along with a wedding.
Mentally, they were committed to each other long before we began the formal ceremony. What difference did the wedding make? Was it only a ceremonial thing that you could take or leave? Was it only something meant to enrich caterers and impoverish brides’ families?
But, no! Something incredible happened. The couple chose each other. And they have formalized that choice. Through choice and decision, they took each other into their hearts and joined together spiritually and psychologically. The Bible teaches that they two became one.
Something amazing happened in the wedding ceremony, and there is a mystery in that. When we come to our relationship with God, through Jesus, something similar is happening. There are some great mysteries involved, and one of the most exciting is found in Col. 1:27, where Paul declares, “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
I know that analogies can break down and be imprecise. But, think about this: You came to know about Jesus. Like any relationship, you might not have been too keen on Him at first. You might not have liked some of His mannerisms, beliefs or teachings. But over time, you developed more than knowledge about Jesus. You began to have a relationship with Him. You grew closer. You understood that this is the only friendship or relationship you really need and that in it, all answers are given.
There is a process that we go through. The process may vary from person to person. There is some basic knowledge and belief, and there is a response, which includes a declaration to God – hopefully, publicly, in some way. There is repentance. And through it all, something incredible occurs. Paul refers to this as “Christ in you, your hope of glory.”
In this, we’re involved with something far more than a body of knowledge or a church tradition. We are in a relationship with Jesus. Paul declares that Jesus is in us and this is our promise – our guarantee – of glory.
Jesus in us is more than wishful thinking. Jesus in us is confidence and a guarantee. Jesus in us is strength to make it through each day – like the married couple gains strength to do what is necessary and right by being committed to and “in” each other.
I don’t really understand it all, but I will always praise the Lord not just for being near me, but for being in me – for making His home in our hearts.
Pastor Tim Wilson serves at Park Rapids Assembly of God.