Who are the main characters in the story of your life? Pause for a moment to reflect on that question. Make a short list in your mind. Think about why you consider these people main characters in your life to this point. There have been a lot of important people in your life. Who are the main characters?
A first-century follower of Christ named Paul once wrote a letter to a group of Christians in a small city in the Roman Empire called Colossae. In the introduction to the letter, see if you notice the main characters of this “story.”
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers. Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (Colossians 1:1-2)
First, realize that the main character in this story is God. The main character is not Paul, Timothy, or anyone else. The main character is God. He is referred to four different ways in these two verses. Notice these phrases…
- …of Christ Jesus
- …by God’s will
- …in Christ
- …from God our Father
God is the hero, the main character, the most important One mentioned in this letter. He was central in Paul’s life. He was central in Timothy’s life. They each had a personal relationship with the God of the universe through His Son Jesus Christ. Everything they did, they thought about God first. They wanted their lives to honor Him through their words, actions and attitudes, and they wanted other people to put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Second, realize that every person in this letter to the Colossians has a story to tell. Paul was an “apostle,” meaning that he was sent by Jesus to proclaim the good news found in Jesus. (More on this good news HERE.) At one point in his life, Paul was an enemy of Christ. But Paul’s story was one of repentance, reconciliation and now right standing with God, guaranteeing him forgiveness of sin, peace and purpose in life, and eternal life in heaven. His life was changed by Jesus Christ, and he got a new direction in life. That’s Paul’s story.
Timothy had quite a story too. He was the child of a Jewish mother and a Greek father. His mother had become a follower of Jesus Christ, but nothing in the Bible indicates that his father ever did. Timothy was led to faith in Jesus Christ by Paul, and now is referred to as “our brother” because he is part of God’s family. Timothy spent much time with Paul, learning to be a follower of Jesus and a spiritual leader too. That’s Timothy’s story.
The story of the Colossian church was that at one time they were not a church family at all. Each of them was following his or her own path, going through life without faith in Jesus Christ. But one by one they heard about Jesus, believed in His death, burial, and resurrection, and believed that He could forgive them of their sin and give them eternal life. One by one they trusted in Him as Lord and Savior. Then, they began to meet together in one of their homes, studying the Bible, encouraging each other, praying together, welcoming new believers, meeting needs, living lives of holiness and righteousness. Their lives were so committed to Jesus that Paul refers to them as “faithful brothers” [and sisters, I should add]. He also called them “saints,” which is not a special term reserved for the holy elite, but a term used in the Bible to refer to anyone who has trusted in Jesus as the Lord and Savior of their life.
Third, realize that you have a story to tell. What’s your story? Who are the main characters in your life? Take a moment to thank God for Jesus, and all of the main characters in your life. Then reflect on these three questions to apply these truths to your life:
- What has God called you to do? Paul was called as an apostle. What has God called you to do?
- Who are you pouring your life into, and who is pouring into your life? Paul poured his life into Timothy. Find someone to mentor, to coach, to disciple spiritually, to lead.
- How is God using you to help our church and the entire body of Christ to live faithful lives for Christ? Paul wrote a letter to the Colossians to help them. How are you using your gifts, talents and abilities to help others live faithful lives for Christ?