VIDEO Spiritual Dress

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13

In the first century, getting dressed was a bit simpler for the average person than it is for us today. The apostle Paul likely wore a knee-length tunic, perhaps a kind of undergarment, a robe or cloak, and sandals for his feet—and maybe a belt around his waist. Still, that small number of items was enough to stimulate his thinking when it came to describing the Christian’s spiritual wardrobe.

In Colossians 3:12-14, Paul described at least eight different articles of spiritual clothing that the Christian should “put on” daily: tender mercies (compassion), kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, patience, forgiveness, and love which is “the bond of perfection” (that which ties the others together in unity). In a world where many people strive to be fashion forward, imagine the impact of a person dressed in Paul’s eight spiritual qualities. Which would change the world more—being dressed in the latest fashions or being dressed in the likeness of Christ?

As you get dressed each morning, imagine putting on love and the other traits Paul mentions. Being dressed in Christlikeness will set you apart in the world.

To be much like Christ, be much with Christ. Unknown


Forgive As He Forgave You – Colossians 3:12-13

The Making of Me

Barnabas wanted to take John . . . with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him. Acts 15:37–38

Seven-year-old Thomas Edison didn’t like or do well in school. One day, he was even called “addled” (mentally confused) by a teacher. He stormed home. After speaking with the teacher the next day, his mom, a teacher by training, decided to teach Thomas at home. Helped along by her love and encouragement (and his God-given genius), Thomas went on to become a great inventor. He later wrote, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”

In Acts 15, we read that Barnabas and the apostle Paul served together as missionaries until they had a major disagreement about whether or not to bring along John Mark. Paul was opposed because Mark had earlier “deserted them in Pamphylia” (vv. 36–38). As a result, Paul and Barnabas split. Paul took Silas and Barnabas took Mark. Barnabas was willing to give Mark a second chance, and his encouragement contributed to Mark’s ability to serve and succeed as a missionary. He went on to write the gospel of Mark and was even a comfort to Paul while he was in prison (2 Timothy 4:11).

Many of us can look back and point to someone in our life who encouraged and helped us along our way. God may be calling you to do the same for someone in your life. Whom might you encourage?

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

Who had faith in you and helped you succeed? What did that person do to encourage you?

Dear God, thank You for walking alongside me and placing people in my life who helped to make me who I am today.

The Power of Persistence

When trials seem overwhelming, don’t give up on our Lord, who will never fail you!

Hebrews 12:1-3

“I quit.” We generally say this when a relationship, job, or the like becomes so stressful that we don’t think we can continue. Sometimes these words are even spoken to God when the demands seem too great, the cost too high, or the obstacles too daunting.

But even in discouraging times, God has made a provision for our endurance. We have the witness of believers who’ve gone before us—especially the ones whose stories are recorded in Scripture. And, of course, our ultimate example is Jesus Christ. He endured the cross not only to save us but also to encourage us not to grow weary and lose heart.

Troubles abound in this sin-wracked world, but God says we’re blessed when we persevere under trials (James 1:12). In order to endure, we must rid ourselves of sin and obstacles to our spiritual progress. Then we can grow in Christlikeness and usefulness to the Lord.

When we consider giving up, we’re focusing on ourselves instead of on our Savior, who’s provided everything we need to persevere. The desire and power to keep going are from God, not from self-will and determination. Human efforts may fail us, but the Lord never will.

Now and Then

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

There is a great contrast between now and then. We see only dimly now, but at least we see! We only know partially, but we do know! What we shall see and know in the future is already ours, but only in hope and promise. “For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Romans 8:24).

The Christian life knows many such paradoxes. We now “are the sons of God,” and yet we are “waiting for the adoption” (vv. 14, 23). Us “he also glorified,” but still “we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (vv. 30, 17). Right now in Christ, “we have redemption through his blood,” but the Holy Spirit is “the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:7, 14). We only have “the firstfruits of the Spirit” while we are awaiting “the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23), but by “the Holy Spirit of God” we “are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30), and therefore we already possess “redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). Similarly, the Father already “hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (v. 13), but “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

Salvation has past, present, and future dimensions in all its aspects. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36) as a present possession on the basis of a transaction already accomplished; yet still we must be encouraged to “lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called” (1 Timothy 6:12). We know our Savior by faith, but the day will come when we truly know Him as He knows us! HMM

The Fine Touch of the Spirit

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye…may abound to every good work.2 Corinthians 9:8

The Holy Spirit never differs from Himself, and wherever He touches a human mind His sure marks are always present so plainly that there can be no mistaking them.

Anyone familiar with the work of the French artist Millet will notice a similarity in everything he painted, as if the very breathing personality of the man had somehow gotten into the paint and onto the canvas.

So the Holy Spirit teaches the same thing to everyone; however different the subjects may be from each other, the fine touch of the Spirit’s hand may be detected on each one. NCA103

O fire of God, begin in me;

Burn out the dross of self and sin,

Burn off my fetters, set me free,

And make my heart a heaven within.

Baptize with fire this soul of mine;

Endue me with Thy Spirit’s might

And make me by Thy power divine

A burning and a shining light. HCL246

The Power of Holiness

Exalt the Lord our God; bow in worship at His footstool. He is holy.—Psalm 99:5

“No one can know the true grace of God,” said the great Bible teacher A. W. Tozer, “who has not first known the fear of God.” He continued: “Always there was about any manifestation of God something that dismayed the onlookers, that daunted and overawed them…. I do not believe any lasting good can come from religious activities that are not rooted in this fear. Until we have been gripped by that nameless terror that results when an unholy creature is suddenly confronted by the One who is holiest of all, we are not likely to be affected by the doctrine of love and grace.”

There was a time when the nature and character of God was a constant theme in Christian pulpits, but not any more. Generally speaking, today’s preachers (and writers) tend to give people what they want rather than what they need. This is why we must stop every time we come across a reference to God’s character in our Bibles and pause to consider it. No one has done anything mighty for God without a new vision of God’s holiness. Ezekiel tells us of the “rims” in his vision that were “large and frightening” (Ezk 1:18), and Jacob, rising from his sleep, said: “What an awesome place this is!” (Gn 28:17).

We will be of little use to God unless we know how to tremble before Him, for otherwise our own ideas and feelings of self-sufficiency will soon take over. Have we lost the sense of awe when we come into God’s presence which seemed to characterize the saints of the past? I am afraid we have.

Prayer

O God, I am afraid as I draw near to You, but I draw near because I am afraid. Nothing or no one can dissolve the fears that hinder me but You. Draw me closer, for in You and You alone lie both my salvation and sanctification. Amen.

Further Study

Ex 3:1-5; Jos 5:15; Ps 33:8; 89:7

What was Moses and Joshua’s experience?

What did the psalmist admonish?

May God Rule in Our Midst

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.—Matthew 6:10

In heaven, God’s will is the only priority. A word from God brings angels to do His bidding, immediately and without question. Jesus instructed us to pray that God would accomplish His will in our world in the same way. This means that God’s purposes would be preeminent in our homes, our businesses, our schools, our churches, and our governments.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray that God’s purposes be carried out in the world around them. In modeling how they should pray, Jesus was teaching His disciples how to share God’s heart. He demonstrated this again at Gethsemane when He prayed “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39). It is as we seek God’s kingdom on earth, and not our own purposes, that we gain the same mind as our heavenly Father. We become colaborers with God by praying faithfully in agreement with His desires.

As you seek the Lord’s will, He will guide your praying. He will invite you not only to pray, but also to become involved in His activity as He answers your prayer. If He places a burden upon you to pray for an individual’s salvation, that burden is also His invitation to join His activity in that person’s life. Prayer will prepare you to be a servant through whom God can bring about His will on earth. Pray that the Lord’s absolute rule on earth will begin in your life. Then watch to see how God uses you to extend His Lordship to others.