"The gospel that has come to you. . . is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God's grace in the truth."
Mark was an average athlete. He couldn't run particularly fast, jump extremely high or lift much weight. But something clicked during the summer between his sophomore and junior year. He went from being a very average player into the best player in school history. What was the difference? What made the change?
As the Apostle Paul continued his relentless pursuit of sharing God's Word, he sent a letter to the people of Colosse. He sent this letter from prison while under house arrest. Now, I don't know about you, but if I was in prison I'm not sure I would feel like writing a letter of encouragement to anyone, but Paul was different. He heard the Good News of Christ on the road one day, and the information he had heard so much about became a transforming force in his life. He took the words to heart, and he changed his life immediately. As a result of this transformation, Paul began to produce fruit (or Christ-like results) in his life. People who knew the old Paul (his former name was Saul) were amazed by the life-change.
Now back to Mark. Why did he transform into a different athlete? He took his coach's words to heart. His coach challenged him to do things differently that summer--to play at the local park with better athletes, to lift five days a week and to spend time working on the things he was not good at. Mark became the all-time leading scorer in his small high school in Indiana. And while many players like Mark listen to a coach's encouragement and teaching, it remains just "information" to them. They don't act on what they hear. Mark, however, took the information and decided to let it transform his athletic life.
When people hear or read God's Word (the Bible) they have a choice to make. It will either be just information, or it will transform them through how they choose to apply the powerful words. As people let God's Word transform them into new creations their lives will be changed, and the change will be seen by all. When the Christian applies God's Word he or she will bear fruit that will lead to a change in purpose, behavior, attitude and direction.
What about you? Is God's Word just information to you, or have you allowed it to transform your life? The choice is yours. Remember, changed lives change lives.
1. Are your coach's words just information to you? What about God's Word?
2. When was the first time you remember God's Word transforming a part of your life?
3. Today, how can I start to change my life for Christ and head in a new direction for Him?