If you're like me, you've had all kinds of people tell you what will make your life worthwhile. TV, radio and newspaper advertisements promise happiness when we buy their sponsors products. Employers tell us that we will be fulfilled when we land the right position. Car companies tell us that true happiness comes from buying their new car. Men's magazines tell us we can be happy if we chase after women. But can anything this world offers add value to your life? Can any possession bring us worth or happiness?
So, how can we find a life really worth living?
How many times have you heard about an athlete who rose to fame and fortune on his own strengths, but lost everything when that strength faded? How many times have you heard about a business man who rose quickly to success only to lose everything of value along the way? Many times, people do not realize what they chased after caused their destruction until it is too late.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Colossians. He told his readers that real value in life comes from putting our faith in Jesus and loving His people. That sounds great, but how does it work? Here is what he says in Colossians 1:3- 5:
"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our prayers for you. We thank God because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God's people. You have these because of the hope which is kept safe for you in heaven. Some time ago you heard about this hope in the Good News which is the message of truth. This Good News is present with you now. It is producing results and spreading all over the world as it did among you from the first day you heard it. At that time you came to know what God's kindness truly means." (God's Word Translation)
Paul teaches that a worthwhile life begins by receiving the good news of Jesus Christ.
Then life gains even more value when we share His good news with others. Chasing after possessions, accomplishments or empty relationships cannot bring lasting happiness. On the other hand, offering Christ's new life to those around us not only gives them the chance to have a relationship with Jesus, but creates a lasting inheritance for us in heaven. That's the real treasure of a life well-lived!
The inheritance Paul speaks of is not something that man can take from us or tax.
Instead, living for Jesus is an investment that continues to grow regardless of the economy, political situation or current trends. Godly faith and loving others leads to hope that God counts as treasure in heaven.
Paul says later in Colossians 1:14 that God's son, Jesus, "paid the price to free us, which means our sins are forgiven!" What an incredible gift! Knowing that we are forgiven is enough to make us change the way that we live. It changes what we chase after. It changes what we value.
Perhaps you wonder if you have the strength to really change your life to live after the things that Jesus values.
You do! Paul prayed for the people of Colossae that they would be filled with the knowledge of God's will and have access to every spiritual wisdom and insight. We can pray for this kind of guidance too. When we do, God will answer in life-changing ways that will give us exactly what He knows will bring us real fulfillment and a joy that doesn't go away.
Knowing that we are forgiven and knowing that we are accepted by God changes us from the inside out. We've been adopted by God so we need to adopt His values. Paul wrote about this too. Colossians 2:6-7 says:
"You received Jesus Christ the Lord, so continue to live as Christ's people. Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving." (God's Word Translation)
When we make Jesus the center of our lives, when we realize that everything in life that has worth comes from God; we realize that a worthwhile life really is "All about Christ!"