July Reading from The Message
Christ is the one who gives coherence to all the disconnected pieces of life’s puzzle. In Him everything interlocks. In Him everything finds its purpose. Do you have a vision of the complete picture of Christ? A clear view of the finished puzzle?
CHRIST HOLDS IT ALL TOGETHER
15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so expansive, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
21-23 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.
Putting Together What Belongs Together
Once while on vacation, our family worked on a jigsaw puzzle. When those thousand pieces were dumped onto the table, it seemed an impossible task to put them together. The only thing that kept us from throwing the pile into the fire was that there was a picture on the box of what they could become—a picture of Sherlock Holmes smoking his pipe and surveying the fields of an English estate where a murder had taken place.
That picture made it possible to do something. Because of that picture, we had the motivation and faith to go to work. Without it, the chaos would have overwhelmed us, and we would have given up. That’s precisely what this Scripture does for us in relation to the chaotic world in which we live. It gives us a picture. Christ is the one who gives coherence to all the disconnected pieces of the puzzle. In him everything interlocks. In him everything finds its purpose.
With that picture of Sherlock Holmes, we were motivated to begin the work of piecing the puzzle together. Everyone joined in. It was a painfully slow process. A seemingly endless search for a piece with a bit of red in it, for example. And occasionally the reward of fitting a piece in place. The Bible word for that is reconciliation—putting together what belongs together.
That’s what Christ is doing with the chaos of the world. And that’s what he’s doing with the chaos in the smaller world of our lives. Putting our lives together. And making them whole.
The Bible that reads like a novel…
Read the Bible like the bestseller it is! Enjoy the continual flow and beauty of the New Testament free of verse numbers and references. A clean, single-column reading experience for all the stories of Jesus, Paul, and the Apostles. Check out the inside in the video below or here.