By Brooke Holt
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 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.” Colossians 3:12-17
One theme to receive from Paul’s letter to the Colossians is the supremacy of Jesus Christ in heaven and on earth. If Christ reigns supreme above all, then how are his children to live? Paul has just written that God’s people are to unite through Jesus Christ. Jesus broke every barrier that stood between people: "Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free.” Instead of divisions between them, “Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
So God’s people are to live in unity with one another, and that unity can only come when they see Christ in all. That means God made every person in his image. Everyone is God’s unique and special design, and he loves each person. That includes you! In fact, to love others, you must see yourself as loved. To see the value in others, you must see yourself as valuable. That is why Paul adamantly reminds you of who you are: chosen by God, holy, and beloved. (Colossians 3:12) And remember, the Lord who chooses you, makes you holy, and sets his love on you. His choice and his work have nothing to do with what you have done or will do. It is all based on what Jesus did for you.
God chose you to be his daughter or son. You are declared holy and righteous as the blood of Jesus has cleansed you from every sin and stain. You are loved, infinitely loved by your Creator and Redeemer. Will you receive these truths for yourself? Then, will you receive these truths for others? Paul will go on to say you are to put on love just as you would put on clothes each day. It is a choice to clothe yourself in God’s love and then to love people.
How can you do that? You just remember how God has loved you in all your imperfect, rebellious, stubborn, and challenging ways. God pursued you and put his love upon you despite those things. The Lord would call you to pursue others, set your love upon them, and forgive them when they sin against you and hurt you. When you practice these things, you will know what it means to live in harmony with God and people.
Living in the love of God and others leads to harmony as well as the peace of Christ. This means there is no unforgiveness, division, or animosity for you. There is love. And doesn’t that make you want to sing, to worship the One who makes all this possible? That is exactly what Paul tells you to do. As you worship the Lord, he will be glorified in and through you so that every aspect of your life reflects him. That is what it means to do “everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (verse 17). Your work, time with family, recreation, and everything you do is for the Lord and in the power of his Holy Spirit. That is what it means to live as the chosen, holy, and beloved child of the Lord.
Do you know who you are to the Lord—chosen, holy, and beloved? Does this holy identity shape the way you live your life and the way you interact with others? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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