Monday, June 24, 2013

Taking Off

This post will focus on Colossians 3:12-17. (ESV is in use throughout)

Before you can put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience...
Before you can bear with one another and be forgiving...
Before you can stop complaining and start loving, there is something you need to do...

Read Colossians 3:8-10 which speaks of "putting away" or taking off the old...

You've got to take off your anger, take off your wrath, take off your malice, take off your slander, take off your obscene talk, take off your lying nature.

It's not "good enough" to try to put compassion on top of anger, or, kindness on top of wrath, etc. Trying to put on "new clothes" on top of the old just doesn't work. The idea is silly. But do we try to do this spiritually? Do we try to do this again and again? Do we find the idea of stripping down our old selves, shedding our old familiar sins, ways, and habits so scary that we fail to address the issue? Do we try to fool ourselves and others by dressing up?

I'm reminded of the scene in Voyage of the Dawn Treader where Aslan is stripping away the dragon skin of Eustace. Before he can be a boy again, the dragon has got to go. And I imagine it's scary and a painful. But does that mean Eustace would choose to stay a dragon forever so he can avoid that pain? Isn't the God-implanted new-self always better, always worth it?

But HOW is this accomplished? How is it done? How do you go from one to the other? I believe the answer is given to us in Colossians 3:16-17: 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.

LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY. Have you thought about that? About what that means? It means perhaps, KNOWING, as well as "believing." It means to be filled with the Spirit. It means knowing the Book and the Author of the Book. It means living life purposefully, intentionally, with God at the center. To live like you know he is there, right there with you. To take joy in his nearness.

Psalm 73:23-28

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works. 

Other verses: Psalm 119:9-11; Psalm 119:15-16; Psalm 119:27-28; Psalm 119:37; Psalm 119:89-90; Psalm 119:103; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:111;  Psalm 119:130; Psalm 119:151; Psalm 119:160;

Open yourself to God; surrender to Him; seek Him; REJOICE in Him.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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