Consider Colossians 3
If you have not read or considered Colossians chapter 3 in a while, I would encourage you to do so. It is a very interesting, inclusive and complete chapter. Consider with me the instruction Paul gives and its application for us today.
Verse 1 “...seek those things which are above...” and verse 2 “Set our mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Easy for us to read and say these things, but applying it proves difficult at best. Our commitments outside of our service to God distract and command way too much of our time. We need to incorporate more of our daily walk with God into the commitments that are a part of our daily living. Prayer and careful consideration of our speech and conduct should be at the forefront of setting our sights on things above!
Verse 3 “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Verse 4 “When Christ who is our life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory.” We made a commitment to put off our old ways and in exchange, those sins and past actions are forgiven, no longer held in account. Also included is the promise of being in the presence of our Savior!
Verses 5 -9 “Therefore put to death our members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry..... Verse 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. Verse 8 ...put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language ... verse 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man and his deeds.” Moving forward, not back to the things of our former self. The only way we can accomplish this is honest living, not lying to ourselves or to our fellow Christians!
Verses 10 —14 “And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him ... verse 12 as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering. Verse 13 ...even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do, verse 14 But above all things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
A new man who is renewed ...by the image of Him who created him! The saying goes... “You can’t beat original”...our origin of faith comes from our Creator. It doesn’t get any better than that. How many of the attributes in vs 12 can we put a checkmark by? A tender heart allows us to seek the best for others and have fulfillment in being a servant. True forgiveness moves toward the goal of mercy, not back to the scene where the error of sin was committed! “Love Is The Bond of Perfection.” When pure love is our motivation, perfection is achieved by our inability to choose or commit ill-will toward those whom we love, above all Christ. It is only when we replace that Love of Perfection with our own selfishness that perfection is lost.
Verses 15-17 ”And let the peace of God rule in your hearts..... 17 whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus....”
Peace is something we strive for daily. Our lives are constantly invaded by outside influence. The peace of God is the only fortress designed to withstand carnal invasion. In the song (#416) Do All In The Name of The Lord... the words sum up in its three verses and chorus, what we as God’s people should be about each day. “Be not deceived by worldly greed...Do not in name of man or creed...Till toil and labors here are done, do all in the name of the Lord.”
Verses 18 — 21 “Wives, submit to your own husbands... 19 Husbands love your wives...20 Children, obey your parents... 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children....”
When you line these four verses up together, how does our family unit line up in comparison? I can tell you, I find myself not measuring up! God has designed what man cannot improve on! If we each fulfill our role, then God‘s design of a proper family relationship is achieved.
Verses 23 -25 “...do it heartily, as to the Lord...24 ...you will receive the reward of the inheritance. 25 He who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.”
We, as Christians, have the hope and joy of promise. Our every action should reflect God’s image of pure motivation to do our best in all aspects of life. The reward promised is beyond comparison. Do not be distracted from our goal by those who place obstacles in our lives. God’s promise is without bias or partiality!
- Greg Boatright