Colossians 1:27

Colossians 1:27   To them 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 really enjoy seeing the pictures of kids who are attending church camp this summer. I think a big reason is because I know how much I enjoyed church camp and how wonderful it is to be in that kind of atmosphere for an entire week. I wish we could figure out how to bottle up a week of church camp and bring it home and live it out in our every day life. Even more important though is I know some kids will make the most important decision of their life and choose to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

One of my memories from church camp goes back way to many years, I want to say I was about fifteen at the time. I was attending church camp with one of my friends from my church and we were having a wonderful time. One of the things I got involved in during the week was quiz bowl. Get this, I actually gave up “free time” to go study and compete in bible quiz bowl. Looking back I wonder why a fifteen your old boy would do such a thing when he could be swimming, going down a water slide, riding a dirt bike or fishing. I am guessing it probably had something to do with there being some attractive girl on the the team but I honestly don’t recall.

I don’t remember how we did during the week but I do remember we some how won the championship on the final day. The crazy thing is I got the first three questions asked right. It isn’t a surprise I could get out of my seat the fastest, I spent a lot of time doing that as I was going through school. However it is a bit surprising that I was able to answer all three questions correctly. What no one in the room knew was that I had only memorized one verse that week…..everyone of the questions was about that verse. Of course the verse was the theme of the week, Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The part of the verse I still remember to this day is “Christ in you the hope of glory.” First we see “Christ in you.” That is the important starting point. This life we live is worth nothing if we do not have Christ living in us. We must be choose to come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that can only happen through being saved. It doesn’t happen by being “good” or going to church. It only comes by believing Jesus is who he says He is, did what He says He did and accepting him as your Lord and Savior. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we have Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, living in us.

The next part of the verse tells us that Christ living in us is the “hope of glory.”  In one of my previous post I talked about how when we run into the word hope in the Bible we have to be careful. We get so used to “hoping” things will happen. Today that means it may or may not happen. The word for “hope” in this instance is “elpis” which actually means “expectation of what is sure.” This isn’t a maybe or possibly or there is a good chance. This hope is something that is sure, a guarantee! If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior he is living in you and you have Hope, “guarantee of glory.”

Ok the last part of the verse is pretty easy. We can translate glory into Heaven. If we come into a personal relationship with Jesus we have the guarantee of Heaven. I can’t tell you what heaven is going to be like. You can read the Bible and try to put a picture together for yourself but honestly I don’t think our minds can even begin to comprehend what a wonderful place it will be. I love Revelations 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Just reading that verse and getting a small glimpse of what it will be like is so amazing and powerful. If you start to think of your life without all of those things listed life would be pretty great. Well Heaven will be greater than great. To me the word glory can be defined another way. Bob Bethell once said that glory/heaven is being in the presences of God for eternity. That sounds amazing enough to me, streets of gold or not!

So as I continue to see the pictures of the kids at church camp I will laugh and smile at the wonderful time they are having. However, I will also take time to pray that some of them will have the mystery made known to them “Christ in you the hope of glory.” I pray lives are touched and changed and that these young people who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will make that decision this week! If you are reading this and you haven’t made that decision, I pray that you will also! There is no better decision you can make!

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