"I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." - Colossians 2:1-3 NIV 4,491,863; that's the world record for the most dominoes toppled by a group. 321,197; that's the world record for the most dominoes toppled by an individual. 3; that's the amount of "dominoes" if you will, the Apostle Paul hopes to topple in the people of Colossae. So far Paul has already addressed that the gospel cultivates hope in the hearts of people, which results in both faith and love. He's communicated his ongoing prayer for Spirit-given wisdom and understanding so that the Colossians might know God's will and live to please Him. And knowing personally the struggles of both the Colossians and the Laodiceans (their propensity toward lukewarm living) Paul paints a ravishing picture of Jesus and His preeminence in order to motivate. Now in Chapter two "strenuously contending" for these people Paul finally declares his goal; Domino 1: encouraged in heart and unite and love. So that, Domino 2: they would have the full riches of complete understanding. In order that, Domino 3: they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ. Paul knows that godly encouragement and a unity of love will produce in people a complete understanding of that love, and all this in order to truly know Jesus for who He is: LOVE incarnate! If you've spent any time in the church among God's people you'll know that godly encouragement is the only thing that really sustains. Worldly encouragement and pop psychology lack the supernatural punch that produces true transformation. You'll also be familiar with the selflessness that is required to love and be unified with God's people. Loving people enough to stick it out when times get tough is a daunting task at times. However, the result of this kind of work is described by Paul to be the "full Riches of complete understanding". I've seen this both in church and in families, the more you encourage and love one another and stick it out, the more complete your love truly becomes. Lastly, Paul says that all of this will result in knowing the mystery of God which is Jesus Christ.
Encouraging, unified love, that is mature in understanding is the very essence of who Jesus is. Only through these "dominoes" do we grow in the full knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. Questions to consider: How can you encourage a fellow Christians heart today? How can you be united in love with other believers? If God is love, and Jesus is the image of God, how does gaining a complete understanding of love help us as Christians?