Colossians 3:12-13 ESV
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
As God’s chosen people, holy and beloved of God, not only are we to rid our lives of all that is earthly, and that is of the flesh, but we are to put on what is godly and holy. For, this is why Jesus died on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but that we might live for him. For, he gave his life as a ransom for us to buy us back for God with his blood, so that we would no longer be lord of our own lives, but that we would now be his possession, for his praise, honor and glory.
But, we can’t put on love, compassion, kindness and the like if we are harboring hatred, bitterness, or unforgiveness in our hearts towards others. We also can’t put on love and humility if we are full of pride, and if we are living in immorality and impurity, still living to fulfill the lusts of our flesh. For, the two don’t mix, i.e. righteousness and wickedness do not mix.
Thus, the whole process of the Christian life, and of being conformed to the likeness of Jesus, is a life of putting off what is of the flesh and putting on what is of God. Yet, we don’t do this by ourselves. We can only do this by God’s grace, and in his strength and power, as daily we yield to his Lordship over our lives, and we let go of what is sinful, so that we can put on what is godly and holy.
Then, God’s love, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and forgiveness can shine through our lives into the lives of others.
But, we need to understand that his love, kindness, and compassion, etc., are not necessarily according to what humans determine these are, but they are according to God. For, God’s love being lived out through our lives will be pure, righteous, honest, and holy, and will be for the benefit of others as God determines, not as humans determine.
In kindness, Jesus spoke the truth in love to people. He never lied to people in order to make them feel good about themselves nor did he withhold the truth when it was necessary for people’s salvation and for their healing. He did not say what people wanted to hear, but what they needed to hear. Thus, he was not concerned about being “polite,” according to our culture of today, but he was concerned about people’s souls and their eternal security.
Colossians 3:14 ESV
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
This kind of love is not the mushy-gushy type. It is not based on our feelings. And, it is not determined by the kindness of others towards us, either, for we can love even our enemies, i.e. those who do us harm.
This kind of love, as well, is not necessarily intended to make others think well of us or to feel good about themselves. This is the kind of love Jesus had for us when he humbled himself, and he became a man, and he died on a cross for our sins so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin. So, this kind of love is self-sacrificial and it thinks of others’ true needs, and it is willing to even be hated and rejected in order to meet others’ true needs.
This love, too, prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, good, beneficial, pure, and honest, etc. Therefore, if we truly love people with this kind of love we will do them no harm. We won’t lie to them or gossip about them or slander them or cheat them or commit adultery against them or lust after them, etc., or use them in any way to satisfy the desires of our fleshly appetites, but we will do what is for their good.
Colossians 3:15 ESV
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
I am reminded here of Jesus’ words when he said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword, and to turn family members one against another. But, in other scriptures he is described as the prince of peace. He also said that he gives peace, but not as the world gives.
So, what we need to understand here about the word “peace” is that there is “the peace of Christ” and there is the peace that the world gives, and that they are not one and the same. For, the peace Jesus gives is an inward peace, and it is peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
But, the kind of peace the world talks about is the kind where we all think alike and talk alike and where we don’t have differences in beliefs but we all come together as one. And, this kind of peace (unity) is being forced upon the world and strongly encouraged within much of today’s institutional church, too. But, it is peace (absence of conflict) with man, not with God.
So, we need to know the difference. For, as followers of Jesus, if we are truly doing what our Lord says, we are not going to be at peace with all people, for many will hate us, reject us, persecute us, falsely accuse us, and betray us, etc., because we are teaching what Jesus taught, and because we are walking the walk that he walked, too.
So, rather than seeking after peace as the world gives, we need to be seeking to be at peace with God in our hearts, and that will only come when we yield our lives over to him, and we have our minds and our hearts centered in him and in his Word and in obeying what he says.
Colossians 3:16-17 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Today’s modern church has gotten so far away from the model of how the church is supposed to function. Our gatherings are not supposed to be about a few people up on stage doing all the singing or all the preaching or even deciding what songs or what messages should be shared.
We, as the body of Christ, are to teach and admonish one another. We are to encourage one another and build one another up in the faith. We are to use the gifts God has given us and we are to serve in the areas of ministry God has assigned us (not as man has determined). And, every one of us is necessary to the proper working of the body that we might all reach unity with Christ and maturity in our Christian lives (Rom. 12; 1 Co. 12; Eph. 4).
The songs we sing or speak to one another also don’t have to be professional sounding or have great instrumentals or vocals or be only “praise and worship” songs. For, we are to speak to one another in songs which are instructional to the body of Christ, and which teach and exhort one another to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God.
For example, God has given me many songs to write, but they are simple in nature, sung by a woman of 68 years whose voice has seen better days, and the instrumentation is computer generated, and not always the best sounding, either. Yet, he has given me these songs for my own encouragement, but also to speak God’s messages to the body of Christ to encourage their hearts and to help strengthen them in their walks of faith. So, the purpose of them is not to entertain, but to build up the body of Christ in faith and in maturity and in unity with Christ. And, I share them as he determines, not as I determine.
So, if God gives you a message or a song or a poem to share with the body, then share it. If your church does not provide a place for you to share what the Lord is teaching you, or if your friends and family don’t want to hear it, then share it on the internet, while we still can, for here on the internet, at least for now, the body is able to function like it is supposed to, for it is here that we are each empowered to share whatever it is God gives us to share for his praise and glory and for the strengthening of our fellow Christians.
And, in everything we do, we should be doing it for the praise, honor and glory of God and for the benefit of others, that they, too, may know Jesus in his fullness, and that they, too, might find freedom from their bondage to sin and be able to walk in the light and love of Jesus Christ.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018