Colossians 3:10 “You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God.”
What does clothing do? It’s a covering over our bodies, right? We wear longer warmer clothes in the winter to cover our skin to keep ourselves warm. In the summer we might wear a little less clothing, but we still put on clothes to cover our bodies. Today we’re going to look at a different type of clothing that still works as a covering, but instead of covering our physical bodies it is a covering over us with God’s love as His holy people. A way God wants us to live. Today let’s look at Colossians 3:12-17.
“Clothe ourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Qualities similar to the Fruit of the Spirit. When we show mercy, it incorporates all the other qualities in this list. Showing kindness, we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the needy. Humility when we shelter the homeless, visit the sick, even visit the imprisoned. Gentleness comes in ways of talking kindly, not letting others aggravate you. And patience, well we all need that with our families, maybe the impatient driver or a rude person at a store, even our boss or clients. To clothe yourself in mercy, in a love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way, just as the Lord has done for you.
Mercy is also forgiveness when we don’t deserve it, which leads to “bearing with each other and forgiving each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you.” Yes, this is the hardest thing the Lord asks us to do especially when you’re in the middle of the situation and the person has hurt you in so many ways. Sometimes it seems easier to just fight back and make them hurt like you’re hurting. Forgiveness doesn’t mean your best friends again and will hang out together. Sometimes that can happen but, in most cases, it means you have to forgive them and let go of the anger and hate so you can find peace in your heart. If they choose to stay the same way it’s now between them and God but for you, you are making it right with God. Jesus’ death on the cross was for you, in His mercy, even though He was blameless. He took on your sins. As you want to be forgiven, forgive others.
“Clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you together in unity.” God is love; He is our perfect example of love. Could you sacrifice one of your children for this world we live in today? How about yourself? Would you die if it meant saving this out-of-control world? Love for someone and love by someone helps us understand God’s agape love for us. As Christians, when we can understand that depth of love God has given, so that, no matter how bad that person is or wrong or hypocritical, we can accept them as a child of God, as we are. That is when Christians are in unity as one family and in service for God. This is when you will see God’s hand in bringing the world together before He returns.
“Let the peace that Christ gives you control your thinking, because you were called together in one body to have peace.” Until recently I never fully understood the verse, the peace that passes understanding. I’ve had a life full of ups and downs, trials and frustrations. I’ve lost faith and trust in God’s leading and have questioned Him a time or two. I have struggled with right and wrong and the devil has thrown many arrows at me and my family. I don’t know if it’s now my age and experiences, or my walk with God, maybe both, but I have come to have a peace like at any time before. There are still ups and downs and I still feel the devil trying to shoot his arrows. I still struggle with things, yet I have allowed my thinking to revolve more around the Bible and God. I have come to trust that He will see me and my family through whatever we face or struggle with. I believe it will always pass and God has us in His hands. I still question God with some things, but I now have a peace, knowing God’s got this. When we as a church can find that peace in Christ, the unity will be like a well-rehearsed orchestra.
“Always be thankful.” Well that’s pretty self-explanatory. Every day wake up and find ways to thank Jesus for what He’s given you. Even at your lowest and darkest you can find ways to be thankful. One way is naming something with your five senses. Another is that you are alive and have been given a new day.
“Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your heart to God.” Open the Bible and spend time in the chapters. Everything the Lord wants us to know is in its pages. We can gain so much wisdom and understanding if we allow Jesus to speak to us through scripture. But we aren’t supposed to stop there, we are instructed to take what we learn and share it with others. With the song of Jesus in our hearts it’s easy to have the passion to tell others. When we let Jesus clothe us with His love one should not be able to help but share Jesus with their friends, neighbors and all who will listen. When Jesus is alive and real in your heart and life you will overflow with thankfulness. Allow Jesus to clothe you with wisdom from the Bible.
“Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus, your Lord.” Is obeying Jesus really that bad? He’s promised to be our strength, shelter, friend, helper, guide and so much more. He promises salvation, will carry our burdens, will fight our battles and give us blessings overflowing. All He asks is we have a relationship with Him in the Bible and in prayer. He only asks that we tell others about Him and do our part in teaching others so they can have the same promises and forgiveness. I think I can obey someone as loving as that who, despite my many flaws, gives me mercy and love.
We end our spiritual clothing with a simple request. “In all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.” Jesus is our intercessor to God and through prayer we can be assured God hears us. So, through prayer remember to thank God the Father for all you have. He is our Creator and it is through Jesus we can be connected to God like a child to their parent.
To become more like our Creator, we need to clothe ourselves as Christians with the covering of Jesus like we clothe ourselves with the covering of material. Are you covered with God’s clothing today?
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