6 Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude. HCSB
The Bible talks a lot about our "walk". It was a common figure of speech used to describe how people lived and conducted their lives. Since the primary form of transportation in those days was walking, it was a perfect metaphor to describe how a person lived. In v6, you are instructed to "walk the talk". If you say you are a follower of Jesus, then live the kind of life that demonstrates your allegiance to him.
When you come across the word “therefore” in the Scriptures, you’ll want to understand what it’s there for. Paul meant that the reason we’re to live the way he described in vs6-7 is because of what he wrote in the preceding verses. You’ll recall that in those verses he wrote about how every follower of Jesus had been shown God’s mystery and given faith to believe it. The “therefore” points back to what motivates you to live in full devotion to Jesus. Your desire to obey his commands is grounded in the amazing grace that the God of the galaxies has lavished (and continues to lavish) on you.
That is made even more clear in the phrase that follows the “Therefore”: as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord. How did you receive him? Was it because of your keen sense of humor and magnetic charm? Not quite, huh? The only reason you could understand who Jesus is and put your faith in him is because God chose to reveal that truth to you. You received the knowledge of the mystery of God by his grace, undeserved and unearned. Think about this statement: You received Jesus by grace so live in him every day by that same grace. A simple definition of “grace” is: you get to think, say and do things that you would never think, say or do without God's direct help.
Think back to yesterday. What did you think, say or do that was directly influenced by the Spirit of Jesus living in you? Or what did another believer think, say or do to you or for you? The way to grow in your gratitude of his constant grace is to develop a sharper sense of recognizing when you are in the flow of that grace. When you recognize it, take the time to thank God for what he just did in, through or for you.
Did you speak a kind word to the cashier? Thank him that you just lived the same way that you received Christ – by his grace. Did you feel compassion or mercy for someone? Thank your heavenly Father for his grace that moved you to exercise your love in the Spirit (1:8). Did another follower encourage you? Thank him for loving you through the other saint. As you see God working in and through you and for you, in little ways during your day, you will grow in your understanding of him and how he works.
Let’s jump back into the passage for today. The kind of life you are to live in Christ is vividly described in v7 with several picture words:
· rooted – having been firmly rooted or to cause to take root. Jesus is the life-giving soil, watered and full of nutrients, that causes your roots to grow deep. Picture the tallest tree you know of and imagine its strong root system.
· built up – being built up, like a house or building. Christ is the foundation of your life, the basis for all of your decisions, choices and on which God builds you up. Picture a strong foundation that is the base of a building that can withstand tornadoes and hurricanes.
· established – to make firm, confirm or make sure. God is making your faith more and more certain and steadfast, as you feed your mind and work out your place in his kingdom. Picture your faith in Christ like the rising sun. It rises with absolute certainty every day, whether, or weather, you can actually see it or not.
· overflowing – to abound, to have more than enough with leftovers. This word describes your gratitude. Remember back to when you had a delicious meal with so much fantastic food you couldn’t begin to eat it all, even though you tried.
Your Father wants you to live each day by being firmly rooted and grounded in Christ: in your knowledge about him and in your faith in him. His will is for you to be firm and certain about all of your beliefs in Jesus, which means you are understanding his Word and regularly applying it correctly to your life’s circumstances. From the grace God is lavishing on you, your gratitude should overflow in abundance, splashing out on those around you.
What a really cool picture of your spiritual growth! But is that how your life is actually going? Maybe not. It’s not like every day is so euphoric that others have to slap the smile off of your face. Life, as you well know, is hard. This verse describes how you are to face the good days and the difficult days, the fun times and the heart-breaking losses. Jesus never promised you an easy, care-free life. He did promise that you would never go through any moment alone. He promised to strengthen you and to embolden your faith, as you remain (menó) in him.
So what do you need to do to become more rooted and built up in Jesus? Ask your Father that very question. Ask and keep asking. Seek the council of more mature believers who are living orderly and faithful. Learn to pray for yourself and for others using the requests like Paul used in 1:9-12 and in Ephesians 1:17-19, 3:16-19 and Philippians 1:9-11.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (everything you need in life) will be provided to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
- Take time to think about what you are truly putting first in your life. What or who is an idol?