before Christ came
As Paul is speaking to the people of Colosse, in these specific 3 verses, he is addressing what we were before Christ came and died for them and what that means for their relationship with God. He explains that if Christ never would have come to sacrifice Himself for their sake, they would still be seen as God's enemies (yikes, an enemy of God is something I'm trying to stay far away from).
standing firm in the promise
Because Jesus came and died on a cross for you and me, we are therefore holy and blameless before God (vs 21). Now, that is easy to recite and memorize and is totally encouraging on a day where we just aren't feeling it--but as Paul reminds us in vs 23, we have to continue to speak that truth over ourselves and not just know it, but stand firm on that promise and declaration. We get to do that, because Jesus took our place, He took the death we deserved and stood in our place for the sole reason of us having a relationship with our Creator.
you are worth the sacrifice
So now, we challenge ourselves to live out of that promise. The promise that Jesus fulfilled on the cross. The promise that God was going to send a savior to save His children. That perspective changes things. We realize that God is a god who doesn't make promises He won't keep. He's a God who will do anything to be in relationship with you--even if it means sacrificing His own son. We get to live out of that promise, that He chose us and He chose to chase after and pursue us no matter what. You are worth every bit of sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. Now, live out of that truth, believe it, and stand firmly on it!!
God, thank You for sending your son to take my place so that You and I could have a relationship. Thank You for sending a savior to die so that I could live. I pray that I would live in remembrance of what Jesus did for me for the sake of me knowing You. Would I live out of a place of awe that You would do that for me. Thank you for all the ways You chase after me and love me. Help me to seek Your face and acknowledge Your presence. Remind me of Your truth when it seems far away and be with me always. Thank You for all you have done for me and will continue to do. Amen.
- Alex Raines