I do remember as a child, it would be a cold and rainy winter’s day, sitting around the kitchen table, while other members of the family busied themselves, I would sometimes come across a ‘Join The Dots’ puzzle in an old newspaper or a children’s activities book.
At first, it would be a dull white square of newsprint, with a random bunch of numbered dots. I would first scan the dots in sequence and see if I could figure out the puzzle, sometimes it was easy, but most times it was a case of connecting the dots, and eventually, the picture would emerge.
As Christians, God wants us to connect the dots. In writing to the Colossian Church, the Apostle Paul wanted to assure them of their salvation. He saw that in understanding what God has done for us, that we could be comforted in our hearts. Of Course, as a Parent, God sees that comfort in the context of love.
Colossians 2v.2 reads, ‘So that your hearts may be knitted together in love and in the richness of full assurance of understanding the knowledge of God and of the Father and of Christ.’ It’s quite a bucket load of information, how about we break it down and look at what Paul is saying?
The purpose of Paul telling them about God, was for them to find comfort in their hearts. I suspect that heart comfort is the number one desire of people today. They may not admit it. Yet many times when someone lights a cigarette, puts alcohol to their lips, or takes another type of drug, they are seeking comfort for their hearts. Stress is the complaint, that most people air to others and comfort is what they desire.
However, the true comfort of God is found in fellowship. While times of solitude and having time alone with God in prayer are essential, the best way for a Christian to not only survive, but grow and mature, in the context of Christian fellowship. The richness of God is found in Christian fellowship. Without brothers and sisters walking each day with you, it is highly unlikely that you will make it through.
It is not enough to have fellowship, but that fellowship must be so authentic, that our hearts are being knit together. When two pieces are knitted together, they develop a unity, that is real so that when the pieces are separated, both parts are damaged. God wants His Church to be knitted together so that each member has real value to the others. Such a Church can endure hardship because it is fashioned together with love.
However, it is not enough to simply knit us together with love. There must also knowledge of the nature and character of God in that knit. It must be a quality joint, that finds its foundations in the truth of the Scriptures. Love without godliness becomes permissiveness which in turn becomes a wedge to the heart of fellowship. Jesus came in truth and grace. John 1:14.
Now let’s look at ‘full assurance’. The word we translate as ‘full assurance’, has its origin in transport. It means to ‘carry through’. The idea is that we know our goods will make it when we see them being unloaded at the dock. Until the ship carry our produce is safe in harbor, we have hopes that may be dashed by a storm or stolen by pirates. But when the ship is tied to the wharf and the goods are on dry ground, we are ‘fully assured’ of our delivery.
Christians find their assurance in the understanding of the Gospel. There comes a point, where it all makes sense. As we learn the Scriptures, hear testimony from other believers, and have the doctrines of faith explained by those called to minister, we begin to understand, we ‘Join the Dots Together’, and our hearts are warmed and encouraged in our knowledge of God.
The Bible was written, so that in the stress of life, our hearts could be warmed and comforted, while being knitted together with other believers in the love, truth, and grace, and in the richness of knowing that we have what we were expecting (the full assurance) having joined together the dots of understanding, who God is, both our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ His Son our Savior.