Most people have experienced the frustration of trying to put a puzzle together only to find that they are missing pieces. You will search high and low for that missing piece only to come up empty-handed!
Many people are frustrated - saved and unsaved alike - because they “feel” as though something, in their life, is missing. Unfortunately, people too often view Christ merely as the “missing piece.”
Christ is not the missing piece.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Our culture deceives us into thinking that the reason that we seem to be unsatisfied and unfulfilled in our lives is because we are missing something. Countless millions of individuals are searching for that one thing that will make their life "complete." Because of that, individuals often “try” Jesus Christ as if He were some sort of missing puzzle piece.
There are others in this world to whom Christ is something, but not much. They are anxious to save themselves, but since they must confess some imperfections they use the merits of Christ as a sort of makeweight for their slight deficiencies. Their robe is almost long enough, and by adding a little fringe of the Redeemer's grace it becomes all they can wish...They allow the blessed and all-sufficient work and sacrifice of the Savior to fill up their failures; and imagine that they are extremely humble in allowing so much as that. Jesus is to them a stopgap, and nothing more.
Christ is not simply the missing piece. Instead...
Christ is our life.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
This reminds me of...
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
The Apostle Paul very clearly understood that Christ wasn't simply a piece of his life; Christ was his life!
As we head into this year we must remember...
• Christ is not the missing piece in your life…He is your life.
• Christ is not simply something that you add to your life to make up your deficiencies…He is your life.
• Christ is not simply that “activity” that you try when nothing else seems to work…He is your life.
If you by faith, have been redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ than you are already complete. There is nothing more that you need to add!
Once you have accepted the truth that your life is not missing something, things become much less complicated. We can then...
Seek those things which are above.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
There are things - fame, fortune, possessions, etc. - that those in this world seek after. Those are not the things which we - who know Christ - should be seeking after. Instead...
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
You have a choice to make. What are you going to seek after in this new year?
Set your affections on things above.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The word that is used here is phroneo which means “to set your mind upon.” The same word is used in Philippians 2:5.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Contrast this mindset with that which is recorded in Philippians 3:19.
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
In this coming year we will either set our minds upon those things which are above or we will set our minds upon those things here on this earth. The Bible describes for us what happens if we try to set our minds upon heavenly things and earthly things at the same time.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Because you are complete in Christ, don’t be fickle - one day setting your mind upon things above; the next setting your mind upon things of the world. Because you are complete in Christ, set your mind upon things above!
To accomplish that...
Saturate your life with the Word of God.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
This is one of my favorite verses. “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly...” While it is one of my favorite verses I don’t believe I have yet come to the point where it is a reality for me!
Two things that I would to challenge you with for this year:
1. Read God’s Word. Don’t read and listen to what others say about God’s Word. Read it for yourself. While I do not want to diminish the value of reading books (I have many books that I am reading and want to read!), we can, if we are not careful, spend more time reading what other people say about God's Word instead of allowing God to speak to us through His Word. There's never been a time in our world where it has been easier to read and study God's Word! Smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. allow anyone to read and study God's Word! One such app is Logos. I (Pastor Campbell) us Logos to study and prepare my messages.
2. Memorize and meditate in God’s Word. Each year, as a church family, we seek to memorize a passage of Scripture. This year, we will be memorizing Colossians 3:1-7. If Scripture memory is not something that you are accustom to, we would encourage you to give it a try! If you have a smartphone, there are many apps that are designed to help you memorize and meditate in God's Word. SCBC has a specific app, The Bible Memory App, that we use. Download the app and then search for the group, "South Charlotte Baptist Church."
Because we are complete in Christ, let us seek those things which are above; set our minds upon that which above; and then saturate our minds with God’s Word!