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December 9| Colossians 1:15-23


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION

Perfectly Pleasing

by Mary Alice McGinnis


Is there a person in your life that you really want to please? Maybe it is a boss, a parent, or a spouse. Have you noticed that when you please them how good it feels, at least for the moment. Then quickly the angst of “what do I need to do next to please them” comes haunting.


Have you ever thought about what pleases God? Maybe what comes to mind is, I might please God if I am more kind. Maybe He will be pleased if I pray and read my Bible more. Maybe if I am generous and give more of my earthly things to those less fortunate. Maybe if I try harder to keep the 10 commandments. How much goodness and kindness is enough? How much prayer or sacrifice will it take to gain God's favor? How close can I get to being perfect will it take to be enough?


Today’s reading begins with “The Son (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God.” The fact that God is invisible creates a problem for us. In our humanness, the vastness of the All Powerful, Supreme God is beyond our ability to physically see and He is far bigger than our tiny little minds can fathom. God is so far above us, so superior, so pure, so vast, He is unknowable. How could we ever hope to know what pleases someone we have never seen?


The answer – Jesus! And that is not just a flippant “Sunday School” answer. Jesus, the Son of God, the Supreme ruler of all, took on our flesh to make God visible to us so we could know Him. This Jesus, who was with the Father when He created “all things in heaven and earth” came to walk among us.


This next phrase stuns me as I ponder it:

“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him . . .”


God poured ALL His fullness – a double superlative – ALL His complete deity and abundance – into a tiny package. Into a helpless baby wrapped in tattered clothes, lying in a bed of straw in a cold stable.


And this PLEASED GOD!!


Isaiah 53:10 says: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.”


Why? Because we not only have been unable to know God or please God, but we have also been estranged from Him, alienated. What’s more, on our own we are hostile to God. We want to do things our own way. By nature, we are rebellious children.


By Jesus taking on our flesh and ALL of God’s fullness taking up permanent residence in Him, He gave us the greatest gift. When Jesus was bruised and suffered on the cross, His took on Himself all that grieved God. He bore all the things that are wrong with this world, from the beginning of time until the end. He bore the weight of the wrongs of Adam and Eve, Hitler, and all people throughout history. Including those who have wronged me. And right there on that cross next to the sins of all others are all my massive, grievous ways I have displeased God. He took on His physical body all that we deserve.


Jesus was bruised and put to grief for all the things that are wrong with us, all the ways we have displeased God. In exchange, Jesus bestowed on us all the ways He thoroughly and completely pleased God. God the Father used Jesus, with Whom He was well pleased, to “reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”


This is God’s greatest pleasure. It brings Him great joy. When He looks at us through Jesus, now He only sees us, His beloved children, washed clean, made right, and perfectly pleasing to Him.



PRAYER


How can I ever thank You enough for all You have done for me? You chose to be shamed, stripped naked, punished even unto death so that in exchange You could grant me all the favor of God that You deserve. Thank You for bringing me back into perfect peace with God. Thank You for the gift of knowing I am pleasing in God's sight, not by anything I have done, but ONLY by what You have done for me.




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1 Comment


Judy Webb
Judy Webb
Dec 09, 2023

Thank you for this word today. It is humbling and convicting. Something to ponder everyday. --Judy

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