Thursday Thoughts | September 10, 2017

 

Are you risen with Christ? 

I ask that after reading Colossians Chapter 3 this morning in which the first 3 verses state, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”   
 
Of course, as a believer, we are risen with Christ through our faith in Him, but we must also never forget to continually “set our affection” on Him.  To do this, we are going to have to die to ourselves (3:5) on a regular basis.  Dying to ourselves is a process that consists of “putting off” fleshly characteristics and “putting on” godly characteristics.  Remember, in Christ you are a  “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and Paul reiterates this in Colossians 3:9-10 where he says we have put off the old man and have
 put on the new man.  The reality is that you are a new man (or woman) through your faith in Christ!  However, we are still in this world and not in our heavenly home yet and have enemies constantly trying to destroy us!  To combat this we must put off the bad and put on the good.  Put off the works of the flesh and put on the work of the Spirit.  
 
For example, Paul says in Colossians 3:8 to put off anger, wrath, blasphemy and filthy communication out of our mouth.  That makes sense, right?  Obviously those “put off” things are not of God and should not be part of the Christian’s life!  But they will be if we don’t fight against them, with help from God. This is where the “put on’s” come into play.  In Colossians 3:12-14
 Paul says that we are to put on “bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness, etc…” with charity being the greatest of these things.  In this passage,  I find it interesting that the first thing to put off is anger and the first thing to put on is mercy.  The two are complete opposites, which is exactly the point.  

Do you find it easy to get angry at someone but hard to show them mercy? If so, why? Showing mercy shouldn’t be hard if we realize that we have been given much mercy!  When we stop and think about it, do we deserve God’s mercy?  NO!  Do we deserve God’s grace?  NO!  Should we be thankful that God has given us both?  YES!! Should we show mercy to those that we don’t like or who have hurt us deeply? YES!  I have sometimes found it hard to show mercy to people that have hurt me, then I realize that God has been so merciful to me, why hold onto anger that is only hurting me, not helping me? 

Are you holding onto anger or bitterness?  If so,  let it go and show mercy and grace.  It will be a freeing experience for yourself and a blessing to those that receive it!  If you struggle with a particular person in this regard, please picture them as a teacher once suggested to me…with a sign on them that says “For whom Christ died for!”.  If we see that in every person,  it will definitely change our perspective.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday and we will talk about God’s mercy further!