Do you ever get up in the morning and not know what to wear? Well Col 3:12-14 gives us a few suggestions! Verse 12 begins in many translations with the words “clothe yourselves with…...”, so let’s see what we are supposed to wear.
1. Tenderhearted mercy (or compassion). That’s not just feeling sorry
for someone but doing something about it.
2. Kindness or “goodness in action”. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23).
3. Humility or “a deep sense of one’s littleness”.
4. Gentleness or being able to keep your emotions under control, another fruit of the Spirit).
5. Patience or extending forbearance with people that try your patience, another fruit of the Spirit.
6. Forgiveness – enough said!
7. “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14; NLT). In other words, the most important thing we need to wear is love. Agape, God’s unconditional, sacrificial love.
If we make a decision to wear these clothes every day, we will always look beautiful!
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42; NKJV). This verse describes the early church, or we could call it the normal church. Fellowship, in our verse above, is the Greek word, koinonia. This is an intimate form of communication amongst Christians and with God, engendered by the Holy Spirit. Christian fellowship is an all-consuming spiritual union and relationship with God and brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, or church. The fellowship amongst Christians in the early church was characterized by an emphasis on the teaching by the apostles (the word), prayer, praise, holy communion, meeting together, sharing meals, taking care of each other’s needs and a great sense of unity (Acts 2:42-47a).
Many other scriptures in the New Testament also describe the fellowship of the early or normal church. As Christians, we are all baptized into the church by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13), we are all important. The apostle Paul exhorted us to be: “knit together in love” (Col 2:2a; NKJV); that is God’s unconditional love, but he also encouraged us to share affection and brotherly love with each other (Rom 12:10). We are to exhort, encourage and call each other on in our spiritual walk (Heb 3:13). In addition, as already noted above, we must: “do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10; NKJV). Just like in the early church, as we all become this same normal church today, we will see the Lord: “add to it daily those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47b). Amen!
“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit (Eph 3:16 NLT). This is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. He also prays for the Colossians to be “strengthened with all power according to His glorious might to attain every kind
of endurance and patience with joy” (Col 1:11 RSV). I believe the kind of strength Paul is praying for is an inner strength which would enable them to be patient and joyful in all circumstances.
1 Tim 1:12 (NLT) says, “I thank Jesus our Lord who has given me strength to do His work”. A different word for strength is used here in the Greek, “endynamoo” which means to increase in strength and also to enable. The same word is used in 2 Tim 4:17 (NKJV), “The Lord stood with me and strengthened me so the message might be preached fully through me.” These 2 verses are talking about strength for God’s service but it is still a strengthening or enabling that comes from God. Another verse using this same word is Eph 6:10 (AMP), “Be strong in the Lord (draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him) and in the power of His (boundless) might”. Phil 4:13 is a very familiar and often quoted verse but I love it in the Amplified Bible, “I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal for anything through Him who infuses strength into me. I am self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency)”. Wow!
These verses all encourage us to rely on God’s strength (rather than our own) so we can be strong as Christians and in God’s service and as a result be more useful to God. I don’t know about you but I need that kind of strength!
Hosea 6:3 (NLT): “Oh that we might know the Lord.”
Hosea 6:6 (NLT): “I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”
To think that we mere mortals can know almighty God, who created the universe and knows all things! According to verse 6 our relationship to Him is more important than what we do for Him. This word “know” doesn’t mean just knowing about God but knowing Him personally.
In the New Testament, Paul said, “That I may know Him (experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His person more completely). (Phil 3:10 AMP).
That would seem hard to attain. How can we know God? Well, John tells us in 1 John 4:7 (TPT) that, “everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of Him.” So, developing our “love life” would be a good place to start and of course we grow in our knowledge of God by spending time with Him (just like we would with any human person we wanted to get to know). It all gets back to the Bible and prayer!
"God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:5b-6; NKJV).
God clearly has no time for pride and arrogance in people, but he will bless, use and promote the humble person. To be
humble, as the word is used in both the Old and New Testament, literally means to make low. It describes a person who avoids arrogance, self exaltation and self promotion. A humble person is one who is submitted to God. Such a person realizes that all he has, is, and does is entirely a product of Jesus in his life. Moses was described as more humble than any man (Numbers 12:3). John the Baptist was content to tell his disciples that he must decrease as Jesus increased (John 3:30) and Jesus' humbled Himself to the point of washing the feat of His disciples (John 13:1-17). Jesus also instructed His disciples that if they desired to be great they should first learn to serve (Mark 10:43b). Jesus served to the extent of giving His life as a sacrifice for our sins (Mark 10:45b). Wow, lots to think about.