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Dear Precious Friends,
On this beautiful new day, this gift from God, I pray we are embracing this day seeking God first through His word, worship, prayer and time with Him. I love this scripture reminder and really needed to study this. Colossians is written by Paul who is in prison and is sharing great knowledge that as believers we have everything we need in Christ and we have to watch the worlds teachings which are totally empty when compared to God's plan. He reminds us that Jesus is our power source for living the Christian life. He reminds us in our scripture today that He is with us and has a set of clothing that is always in style. These qualities are hard to wear, but always a blessing to those who meet us when we're decked out in this wardrobe. No matter what time we wake up and get started, Paul's word is, "clothe yourselves." When we start our day, we are to deliberately put on these qualities of Christ. The reason, of course, is because we can put them on. That is the argument throughout this whole letter. We are a new man, a new woman in Christ, therefore, we can begin to live that way. So do it! That is the apostle's exhortation.
"Put off the old man." Learn to recognize the characteristics of the old life: the self-centered, praise-loving, prideful flesh in every one of us. Reject that! Put it off! Do as Paul says in the previous paragraph: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature." Treat it as though you are dead to it. That is Paul's argument in Romans 6: "Consider yourselves to be dead, indeed, unto sin." And you can, because God has given you a new basis of operation!
So the best things to put on:
Compassion, Kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Compassion is a sense of sympathy, of empathy with someone.
Kindness is action that reveals compassion, action that arises out of a sense of sympathy. It can take many different forms---a smile, a kind word, a pat on the shoulder, an invitation to lunch, an offer of help. We are to put on compassion and kindness as we start our day and throughout the day.
The third quality is "humility," which John Stott rightly calls "the rarest and fairest of all Christian virtues " The chief Christian virtue is humility because it is the exact opposite of the worst of sins, which is pride. Thus, we are to put on humility, to think humbly of ourselves As the apostle puts it in another place, we are to "regard others as better than ourselves." We are not to consider ourselves in any way as superior to others. A modern proverb puts it well, we are to remember that "all of us are made in the same mold, only some are moldier than others!"
The fourth quality is "gentleness," a familiar word that is oftentimes translated "meekness." Not weakness, meekness! I like the definition that says meekness is "strength under control." It is real strength, but it does not have to display itself or show off how strong it is. This is what our Lord beautifully displayed He described himself as "meek and lowly in heart." The first curriculum of the Holy Spirit is that we must do what Jesus said, "take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart." 'That is what we are to learn as we go on Here is another excellent definition of meekness: "a willingness to waive one's rights for a good cause." Set aside your rights! Do not demand that you be satisfied, but, for the sake of a good cause be willing to suffer loss. Meekness is the exact opposite of rudeness and abrasiveness.
The fifth quality is "patience. Literally, it is longsuffering, the enduring of another's exasperating conduct without flying into a rage. It is a negative term. It is holding back, restraining yourself from becoming upset or speaking sharply or shrilly to somebody by our mate, your child, whoever whose conduct you find difficult and exasperating.
Linked with patience is the sixth quality, "forbearance." "Bear with one another." This is similar to longsuffering, but it is the positive side. Literally it is "to uphold and support" someone. Not only to restrain yourself but to support others, encourage them. It is a great Christian quality.
The last quality (which I feel the apostle deliberately put last) is "forgiving one another"---"Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." What a beautiful thing it is to find forgiveness in a Christian's heart! It does not mean that we are not to air a grievance we may feel. We are told in Scripture that if we have something against another to "go to the other and tell him his or her fault between you and him alone." We do not have to repress every feeling of injustice or unfairness that w e feel. We are to say how we feel, but, having done that---this is the point---having gotten it out, forget it. Forgive it. Put it away. No longer let yourself think about it. Our model, of course, is Christ's treatment of us. That is what he did when we came to him. He forgave the unkind thoughts. the blasphemous attitudes, the grievous, hurtful sins that we have done. The Old Testament tells us that when we come to him he "casts our transgressions into the depths of the sea."
Just WOW my friends... May we go out in and be the best dressed Christians in town!
Source: God's word, Holy Spirit, Ray Stedman
May be an image of text that says 'Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience Colossians 3:12'
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