Text: Colossians 2:6-19 (Genesis 18:20-32; Luke 11:1-13)

As was said last week, growth in faith is not by completion but fulfillment. Growth is something that comes from God, not by our accomplishment. This is the critical difference between being saved by faith and not by works. Our works are not to accomplish our salvation, but rather to live within it. Growth, like faith, is a gift that comes from God through relationship with God. Jesus is the benchmark for that relationship. We are to measure our works based upon the work of Christ. How does your life reveal growth in Christ? How does it reflect the love of God in Jesus Christ? Our mission as both individual members and as a collective body of faith at Abiding Presence is to live God’s love. God’s deepest desire is to give us that relationship, yet we also need to be persistent in our desire to receive that gift. In this story from Genesis, Abraham was persistent with God in seeking to understand and clarify God’s will and the extent of God’s mercy. This persistence changed his relationship with God. In the Gospel lesson, in addition to teaching the disciples how to pray, he encourages them to seek this relationship persistently. Much of what we persistently seek is simply a mere shadow. If, however, we persistently seek relationship with God, we receive far more than we can ask for or imagine. The Spirit gives us ability through all things to live God’s love. This growth can only come from God!