PUTTING ON GOD’S HOLINESS
December 30, 2011
Today’s reading: Colossians 3:12-21
We are God’s people, called according to His purpose, and chosen to do His work of proclaiming His good news of salvation to all, and of renewing the family and defending life. As among “God’s chosen ones,” we are “holy and beloved” (Eph 3:12a). We are greatly loved by God, and we are called to be holy as He is holy. To be loved by God is His unconditional unilateral decision. To be holy is our response. We are to live pure.
To live pure, we put on holy attire. What are the aspects of this?
* Heartfelt compassion. We care for the well-being of others, especially those who have less in life. Our hearts desire to extend the love of God to all others, in whatever way we can.
* Kindness. Our action, speech and thought are not demeaning of others. We see the dignity of others as children of God even when they are acting otherwise.
* Humility. We do not put on airs. We are not out for power, position, prestige. We consider others as more important than ourselves.
* Gentleness. We do not impose the weight of our authority. We are like nursing mothers caring for their children.
* Patience. We make adequate allowances for the shortcoming of people. We are not quick to condemn. We can quietly endure.
* Bearing with one another (Col 3:13a). We realize that all can fall short of the expectation of others, and we accept each other notwithstanding. We know we are all called together to be a family, a community, and we are committed to each other in spite of our shortcomings.
* Forgiving one another (Col 3:13b). We do not cling to grievances against another, but rather forgive. We realize that “as the Lord has forgiven (us), so must (we) also do.” (Col 3:13d). If the holy and innocent One forgave those of us who were sinners, who sent him to the cross, then we can forgive the lesser offenses of others against us.
* Love (Col 3:14). We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are to love as Jesus loves, giving of himself without counting the cost, giving his all, even unto death.
* Peace (Col 3:15a). We are to be in right relationships with everyone else, especially in our community. We are to avoid strife, conflict, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy.
* Thankfulness (Col 3:15b). Knowing God’s unconditional love for us, appreciating His calling us into community by which we are supported and by which we can serve, we are thankful. We recognize the many small blessings we receive each and every day.
* Formation according to the word of Christ (Col 3:16a). We are to be a people of the Book, the holy Bible, which provides God’s wisdom and guidance in life. We read, meditate on, and study the Bible each and every day.
* Pastoral support for each other. We care for one another, “as in all wisdom (we) teach and admonish one another” (Co 3:16b). We are our brothers’ keepers. We teach, encourage, correct, admonish and support each other in living a life of holiness.
* Joy in prayer and worship. Our daily life should be filled with joy as we sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in (our) hearts to God” (Col 3:16c). What a great and wonderful life He has given us!
* Doing all for Jesus. “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:17). We belong to Jesus. We live for him. We dedicate our whole life, everything that we are, to serve him. Jesus is our first and only priority (all others fall into place after that).
* Building strong families in Christ. We are to have right relationships within the family (Col 3:18-21), according to Biblical and not worldly principles. We are to work to renew and strengthen Christian families.
Holiness is not something nebulous, but rather is very practical, lived out from day to day. It is all about living as a true Christian. It is all about reflecting the very virtues of God. It is putting on holy attire, the garment of the bride prepared for the bridegroom.
To be holy is to live pure.
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