God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
Thérèse of Lisieux was a joyful and carefree child—until her mother died when she was just four years old. She became timid and easily agitated. But many years later on Christmas Eve, all of that changed. After celebrating the birth of Jesus with her church community, she experienced God releasing her from her fear and giving her joy. She attributed the change to the power of God leaving heaven and becoming a man, Jesus, and through His dwelling in her.
What does it mean for Christ to dwell within us? It’s a mystery, said Paul to the Colossian church. It’s one that God “kept hidden for ages and generations” (Colossians 1:26), but which He disclosed to God’s people. To them God revealed “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (v. 27). Because Christ now dwelled in the Colossians, they experienced the joy of new life. No longer were they enslaved to the old self of sin.
If we’ve asked Jesus to be our Savior, we too live out this mystery of His dwelling in us. Through His Spirit, He can release us from fear, as He did Thérèse, and grow within us the fruit of His Spirit, such as joy, peace, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).
Let’s give thanks for the wonderful mystery of Christ within us.
How do you see Jesus reflected in your life? In the lives of those you love who follow Him?
Jesus, thank You for lowering Yourself and becoming a man, and for living within me. Help me to understand more of Your work in my life.
Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae was unusual because most of his letters were addressed to churches he had helped establish. In fact, having not been to Colossae may have prompted him to prove his credentials for the ministry of an apostle (Colossians 1:25). While presenting himself as a servant of the church, Paul’s role is primarily a commission given to him by God Himself. He specifies the scope of that commission, stating that he’s been sent uniquely to “present to [the gentiles] the word of God in its fullness” (v. 25). All of this provided validation for his claim in Colossians 1:1, where he identified himself as “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.”