Bible Devotions

A Call to Godly Living

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, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15 NKJV

This verse is chalked full of godly living, isn’t it.  Thankfully, we don’t have to try to live this way on our power.  Can you imagine how exhausting it would be to do all these things by our own effort?  Christ, who not only forgave us, gave us eternal life with the Father, but also gave to us His Holy Spirit to bring about this kind of living from within us.

Look at the first verse.  Paul starts out by building up the Colossian’s confidence with say “the elect of God” and “holy and beloved”.  That’s where we need to start too.  It’s all about what God’s done, not was we’ve done.  God has chosen us.  Jesus confirmed this in John 15:16 when He said “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” He has adopted us into His family according to Ephesians 1:5 “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself”.  Also in Ephesians 1:4-6 it is written that we are to be holy and blameless before Him and accepted in the Beloved.

Next we see Paul using that action phrase again “put on”.  All of these things mentioned here are to be put on, much like we’d put on a piece of clothing.  First you decide what you want to wear and then you put it on.  That’s what we do with these.  We decide we will walk by the Spirit and we consciously decide to offer tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other.  This is not something that happens overnight, but it is in the process of putting these on, that we grow in Christ’s character every day.

Above all these things, we are asked to put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  God is love.  First John 4:18 tells us “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  With God there is no torment, only perfect love.  His love endures forever.  The more we grasp God’s love, the more we display God’s love in our lives. Paul continues with “let the peace of God rule in your heart”.

Have you experienced the peace of God in your life?  I have from time to time.  It’s a most wonderful peacefulness, calmness, serenity and almost unexplainable event.  For me I have yet to learn how to maintain that peace.  It’s comes and goes, but that’s only an indicator for me that my focus is constantly shifting from God to other things.  When my focus is on other things, the peace slips away.

Philippians 4:6-8 teaches us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Let us be thankful and remember we are all one body.  We were made to need each other.

Therefore, let us not forsake meeting together as Hebrews 10:24-25 tell us: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Lord, thank you for all we have to be thankful for. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

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You are My Witness

Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” Colossians 4:15-17 NKJV

When Paul wrote letters, he fully expected those letters would be read aloud for all to hear.  He encouraged the Colossians not only to read the letter but personally take the message to Laodicea and read it to everyone there. He wanted this message to be shared  with others in the body of Christ.  Do we think about the bible the same way?  Do we read it aloud among our friends and family?  Do we take it with us wherever we go, that we might share it with others along the way?  If not, why?

Jesus told his followers what they were to do, now that Jesus was going back to heaven.  Acts 1:7-8 “And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  He said they would be witnesses of Him.

What does a witness do?  From a court of law standpoint, a witness is can be crucial to whether a case is won or lost.  A witness, especially an eye-witness, has knowledge about what is being discussed.  They can shed light on the matter that no one else can.  They have “inside” knowledge.

Now, apply that description to yourself.  You are a witness of Jesus Christ.  You have first hand knowledge of how Christ changed your life by setting you free from your sins and giving you a new life by His Holy Spirit in you.

We are to be the salt & light of the world according to Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

From Matthew 5:13 above we see that it takes effort to stay “salty”.  We need to be diligent in our relationship with Christ that we may be flavorful to the world.  From Matthew 5:15-16 above we see that we should not hid our light, but instead let it shine for all to see.  What’s preventing you from letting your light shine today? Pray and ask God for His wisdom, power and discernment about how to stare His glorious news with others.

May all who read this “take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”

Lord, thank you for allowing us to be part of your plan to share the good news with others. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

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Giving Thanks

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 NKJV

Did you know the phrase “give thanks” is mentioned 52 times in the NKJV Bible? Surely giving thanks must be important to repeat 52 times!  Here’s a sample of a few
of them:

  • First Chronicles 16:8 “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!”
  • First Chronicles 16:34 “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
  • Psalm 30:4 “Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.”
  • Revelation 11:17 “saying: “ We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.”

We are to give thanks to God, making His deeds known, for His mercy endures forever, at the  remembrance of His Holy name, and because He reigns!  The Lord God Almighty is good and worthy of praise.

Look at what Paul wrote in today’s verse: “remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love and patience of hope”.  What is work of faith, if not the work of the Lord?  Praise Him!  What is the labor of love, if not Jesus’ great love for us? Thank Him!  What is patience of hope, if not God’s patience for us to turn to Him? Glorify Him!

The things which Paul identified in the Thessalonians are all character attributes of God.  All of them are visible because God was at work in their lives.  What a blessing to see God’s activity in the lives of others.  We should look out for those attributes in believers’ lives too.  When we spot them, let others know we see them.   This kind of encouragement can boost their confidence and continue their walk with Christ.

The last part of verse “knowing beloved, brethren, your election by God” is a great confidence builder as well.  Reminding us that our being part of God’s family is not because we’ve done anything to deserve or earn it.  It is free gift (Romans 5:15) by the grace and mercy of God alone, that we are adopted into His family (Ephesians 1:5).

Thank God today by remembering all He has done for you and all He promises to do for you in the future (Jeremiah 29:11).  While you’re thanking God, think about who you can build up with your words.  Lord, thank you for loving us and saving us and giving us the desires of our heart when we seek you.

Lord, thank you for loving and saving us. Thanks for giving us the desires of our hearts when we seek you. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.
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Cultivating Gratitude

Gratitude is formed once you realize what you have been given, who you are and from who all blessings flow.

Realizing the extent of what you’ve been given may take some time.  It did for me.  I was 32 years old before I realizing I had been given a second chance at life.  Here’s a quick list of some things we’ve been given: Life, relationships, health, gifts, talents and abilities, God’s Word, clothing, shelter, transportation, and work.

Recognizing who you are may take even longer, as in my case.  Even after I found Christ and committed my life to His Lordship, it still took me time to understand exactly who I was in Christ.  To be truthful, I haven’t fully comprehended it all yet.  God keeps drawing me deeper still into His magnificent love that transforms me further.  The reason we have trouble finding who we are is do to our sin nature.  We all fall short of God’s glory ( Romans 3:23 NKJV ).  No, not one is good ( Psalm 14:3 NKJV ). We all have gone astray ( Isaiah 53:6 NKJV ).  We all are sinners and separated from God.

Learning God is the source of everything might take some getting used to; especially when you’re used to running your own life by your own sufficiency.  I used to think if I got a raise at work it was of my own hard work and therefore, it was my “just” reward.  However, now I realize God gave me the talent and ability to certain things well and He also gave me the ability to create wealth ( Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV ) .

Gratitude is “grown” by exercising our mind’s recollection of every good, pure, true,  noble, just, praiseworthy, and honorable thing (Philippians 4:7-9 NKJV).  When we keep our thoughts on these things we will surely never cease to praise God Almighty.

If you have a hard time being grateful, perhaps you’ve stewed in your own pot of “unmet expectations” for too long.  When you compare your life to your expectations of life and come of short, guess what?  You’ll always feel disappointed, let down and discouraged.  I know from my own experience.  Take my advice, loose the expectations they’re nothing but heartache! Believe me Jesus Christ’s power is the only thing which can end the cycle of an unhealthy thought life.


 

How do we cultivate gratitude?


Step 1:  If you haven’t already done so, give your life to Christ. Say a simple prayer like: Jesus I know I’m a sinner and you died for me.  Come into my life and make me whole again.  Amen.  Making Jesus the CEO and Boss of your life is the first step to success.

Step 2: Make a list of things to be thankful for. Start with the basics.  Thank God for your life, your senses (sight, sound, feel, taste, smell), your health, your family, your house, your clothes, your food, your work, your car, etc.  I like to thank God for His Word and the ability to read it! You get the idea.

Step 3: Keep a journal of answered prayers. Whenever you need a dose of gratefulness consult your journal to remember times when God answered your prayer and rejoice.

Step 4: Look around you. There are less fortunate people all around.  Jesus said we would always have the poor among us ( John 12:8 NKJV ).  There are starving people in this world, so be thankful at your next meal, even if it’s leftovers you had last night.  Did you know that if you own a car you are among the world’s top 8% of the population?  Be thankful.  Think about this: we are not threatened or tortured or killed when we share our faith, as some people are in this world.  Be incredibly grateful.

Gratitude is important to keep us grounded with a correct estimation of ourselves and an accurate assumption of the source of all blessings.  How’s your gratitude level today?  Need a boost in gratefulness?  Follow the suggestions in this article and pray God helps you be grateful.   Believe God has already answered your prayer and gratitude will flow freely.

Lord, thank you for all that you have done for us.  Thank you for all we have this day.  Help us to be grateful for everything.  May we be mindful of others less fortunate than us and where we have the ability to do something about it, may we reach forth our hands to help.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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God’s Word and Beef Jerky

While pondering awhile ago this analogy came to mind:  (I mean no disrespect towards God and His Word!)  God’s Word is like beef jerky.

What?  That’s right, at first bite beef jerky is tough and kind of hard to chew.   God’s Word can be like that sometimes.  Especially, if you haven’t given your life to Christ yet. In that case, God’s Word can be incredibly difficult to read.  The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

After you continue chewing on the beef jerky, you start noticing how rich and flavorful it is.  Again, I say God’s Word is like that too!  The more you read, the more you start understanding just how rich and flavorful it is.  One of the psalmist described God’s Word like this in Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Then the beef jerky becomes tender in your mouth, from all the chewing.  Yep, you guessed it!  God’s Word is like that too!  The bible has this uncanny ability to touch your heart right where you need special care.  It has the power to heal, to comfort and to tenderly correct us when we need correcting. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Have you stopped to consider how God is in the every day routines of life?  Even in the simple task of eating beef jerky, God’s grace and mercy and truth abound!

P.S.If you don’t know Christ yet and want to just, call out to Him.  He’s faithful to hear and answer your prayer.   You might pray something like:

Lord I believe your word when it says “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and that I am include in the word “all”.  Your word says the punishment for sin is death and I deserve it.  Your word also says “the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:23) .  So today, I’m asking for forgiveness and seeking a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) .  Thank you, Jesus for saving me.  Amen.

 

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We are the Body of Christ

Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, 
will tell you all the news about me.  I am sending him to you for this very 
purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, 
with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They 
will make known to you all things which are happening here. 
Colossians 4:7-9 NKJV
 

Fellowship and a sense of belonging are beautiful things.  God designed us to 
need each other.  Here we have examples of how Tychicus and Onesimus 
were helpful to the fellowship.  
 

Tychicus was a beloved brother, so apparently he got along with a lot folks.  
He was also described as a faithful minister, so we know he was consistent in 
his walk with Christ.  He was a fellow servant in the Lord as well.  To me that 
means he was humble and willing to serve wherever was needed.  Onesimus 
was a faithful and beloved brother, so he was consistent and loving also.  He 
was considered “one of you”, meaning he was part of the Colossians – he 
belonged.  Do people describe us this way?  If not, why? 
 

All of us believers are joined together as one body and called the body of 
Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now you are the body of Christ, and members 
individually.”    Since we are connected with the body, we suffer when others 
suffer and we rejoice when others rejoice.  We are no longer operating based 
just on what we think alone.  Now we consult with the Lord, just as we would 
consider our spouse’s opinion when making a decision that affects everyone. 
We operate not based on the law, but based on love.  Look at Romans 7:4: 
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the 
body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised 
from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.”  
 

When God calls us to bear fruit, He also equips.  Each one is given special 
abilities appropriate for building up the body. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 “But the 
manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:  for to 
one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of 
knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to 
another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of 
miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another 
different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But 
one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one 
individually as He wills.”  So we have been given these gifts to bear fruit to God.  
 

How’s it going?  Do you know what your gifts are?  Are you using your gifts for 
the glory of God and building up the body of Christ?  If not, I encourage you to 
read 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 to consider what gifts the Holy Spirit has 
given you.  Pray and ask God to reveal where you should begin using your gift.  
It’s all part of the process of becoming who God wants you to be.   I tell you 
from my own experience, as you step out in faith and begin using your gifts, 
you will be blessed in ways you never thought possible.  

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What Do You Pray About?

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4:2-6 NKVJ

Prayer is essential for keeping your relationship with Christ alive and well. How many human relationships would stay together, if the couple never spoke to one another? Probably not many would survive. Without speaking so many things can be misinterpreted. Paul urges the Colossians to “continue earnestly in prayer”. Do not become complacent or lazy about praying. It may be easy to stop praying, but the consequences would be devastating. Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.”

Prayer is a vehicle that draws us closer to God and others. In our prayers, we praise God for who He is, what He’s done for us and thank Him for all He’s giving us. It’s important to continue giving thanks with vigilance. Prayer is also a weapon we must use to defend our walk. We when praise our God as He deserves, our enemy hates it! If ever you find the enemy hurling negative thoughts your way, try thinking about everything you can thank God for. In doing so you will be submitting to the Lord, resisting the devil, and the result is he will flee from you (James 4:7).

Prayer is not only about God. We pray for others’ needs as well. There’s several little tricks for helping us remember all the folks we can pray for. One is the five finger prayer. I used this one to help teach my son how to pray. It’s very effective and easy to remember. It something goes like this:
1. Your thumb represents those closest to you, so pray for your family and friends.
2. Your index (pointer) finger represents those who pointed you to Christ, so pray for those you lead you to your savior, pastor, Sunday school teacher, etc.
3. Your longest finger represents those in authority over you. That means the president, government, police, teacher, husband, etc.
4. Your ring finger is also the weakness finger. This reminds us to pray for the weak. Pray for single moms, widows, orphans, the sick, and the homeless.
5. Lastly is your little finger. This represents you, so pray for what you need.

Did you notice the order? Everyone else’s needs came before our own needs. That is honoring to God. When prayer becomes like breathing to you, meaning you find yourself talking to God about everything throughout the day, it you stay on track with the Lord. You begin to develop God’s perspective in your life. As a result you choose your word carefully. You walk in wisdom and your speech is full of grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer anyone who asks you why you have such a hope.

How’s your prayer life today? Is it filled with requests all about you? Or do you remember to pray for others? Are you praising God before you rattle off your requests? Talk to God, He’s waiting.

Father God Above, thank you for being as close as a pray away.  Help us to remember we are in your presence every time we pray.  May we learn to bring you into all situations in life through pray. In Jesus’ name Amen.

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Is God’s Word Dwelling Richly in You?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:16-17 NKJV

I love this verse! Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, is my favorite part. I first heard this verse at a woman’s retreat a few years ago. It has stuck with me since then. Shouldn’t this be our prayer? Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly. We know from 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” When we allow God’s Word to penetrate our being, it changes us and the word of God becomes most treasured and sought after. For me, the more I read, the more I need! What about you? Do you find the more you read, the more you want of God’s Word?

As we just discussed, the first aspect of God’s Word is to “let it dwell in us richly”. Why is it important to allow God’s Word to dwell in us? It’s important for many reasons, but we’re going to look at the just five reasons:
1) That we may be filled with wisdom
2) To be able to teach others about God
3) To admonish and encourage others
4) To worship and praise our God
5) To align our hearts with God’s will How does one obtain wisdom?

First, one must know God. Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Second, one must trust God enough to ask Him. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Why do we need to teach others about God? God does take pleasure in the death of the wicked. As a result, He wants His Word shared with everyone that they may come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

Encouragement is something everyone needs at one time or another. Look at what Jude 1:19-21 says “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” We need others in our lives to help us keep going, to remind us and to not loose hope, to stay the course and stay alert. Also remember that sometimes we need to be disciplined to bring us back in-line with God’s ways. It’s important to know the Word, so rebuking someone is done with godly love. Galatians 6:1 teaches us: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, consideringyourself lest you also be tempted.”

Worship helps us keep the proper perspective. He is God, we are not. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). From the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:2-4, we see God telling us “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Our God deserves all the glory. He loved us enough to die for us while we were still enemies trapped in sin (Romans 5:8)! Worship and praise should come quite easily to the child of God, who has become to grasp what God has done for them.

Abiding in His love, reading His Word, letting it change us inside continues the process of aligning our will with His will. 1 John 2:5-6 “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

As we let word of Christ dwell in us, the result is that everything we say and do will be done in Jesus’ name for His glory. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

What about you, are you letting God’s Word dwell in you today?

Lord Jesus, thank you for your mercy when we fail to let your word dwell richly in us.  Thank you that it is by your power that we are ever changing into your likeness little by little each day. Thank you for your undying love. In your name we pray. Amen.

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Put Off the Old Man with His Deeds

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,  and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Colossians 3:8-11 NKJV

It’s easy to point out others’ sin, isn’t? Did you know when you point out others’ sin you’re really pointing out your sin that you see in them? That’s why it’s so easy to spot. You know it well, because you deal with it yourself. I heard a pastor teaching one time say “You want to point out someone’s flaws? Go ahead. Just remember, when you point at them, you’ve got three fingers pointing back at you.” That’s good to remember.

Jesus taught us to deal with our own issues before trying to help others in Matthew 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

How can we possibly give advice about something, if we ourselves have never go through it ourselves? You can, but most likely people won’t listen because you’re not creditable.  Jesus taught us to consider first our own state.  He reminds us to remember where we came from, to keep us humble.  When advice is given humbly, the receiving person is much more likely to hear the message.  If you have been there and can share your experience of how God helped you, then you bring hope to the other person’s situation.

Paul is saying something similar in today’s verse. When he said “you yourselves are to put off all these”, I think he was referring to your own personal conduct. We can only control our own bodies, mind and tongue, not other peoples’.  Notice the action in the saying? It’s deliberate. A choice one must make. A conscience effort to put away all that would lead to death.

Once we’ve put off the old man, we then put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to Him who created him. In other words, the new man is a spirit-led individual who receives knowledge from God. Romans 12:2 says we are to be renewed in the mind by allowing God to change the way we think. We do that when we choose to walk by the spirit and not be the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16).

In conclusion, we must remember that Christ is all and in all. That means that it is by His power that I am able to do all things (Philippians 4:13).

Lord Jesus, thank you for the power to do all things through you.  Thank you for continuing to work in us until the day you return. In your name we pray. Amen.

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A New Way to Live

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,  in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. Colossians 3:5-7 NKJV

Because we are raised in Christ by the same mighty power that brought Christ back from the dead, we are no longer obligated to carry out whatever our sinful nature desires.  Look at Romans 6:12-14 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, t present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Paul always encouraged believers to live differently.  Ephesians 4:17- 24 “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Notice the action Paul speaks of above.  Put off the old man and put on the new man.  It is a process that starts with our thoughts.  With Christianity comes a new mind set or thought process.  Every thought, every decision, every word spoken is now considered before it is brought to pass – or at least should be according to Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Before we speak, use T.H.I.N.K. It’s a kind of internal dialog that goes something like this: “Is what I’m about to say truthful, helpful, inspired, nice and kind?” If it is go ahead and speak it.  If it is not, by all means refrain from saying it.  Why behave as the enemy would?  You’re a child of God, now start speaking like one.

We’re not perfect and we’re bound to slip up and say something we shouldn’t.  It’s okay.  Don’t let the enemy tempt you into thinking you’re not a Christian because you did or said what you said.  We are in the process of becoming like Jesus.  It’s a process and every day we learn something more about it.  Be patient with yourself, seeking forgiveness when we make a mistake and trusting in the Lord Jesus to work out His perfect and pleasing will in your life.  Since He has the power to rise from the dead, don’t you think He has the power to help you change your thoughts and speech?

Lastly, let me leave you with one of my favorite verses.  It’s helped me and I’m sure it will help you too.  Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Lord Jesus, you are the reason we can stand before the Father holy, pure, spotless and righteous. Thank you for your saving work on the cross.  Help us to remember what you did, so we will always conduct our self worthy of this calling.  In your precious name we pray. Amen.

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