Today’s Reading: colossians 3:12-17; SOAP – 3:12-13
When my daughters were in the first grade their teacher taught them a song that they often sang during their morning routine. If you were anywhere in the vicinity of the classroom when they were singing it you would hear – “what are you wearing, what are you wearing, what are you wearing today – today?” The chorus would be repeated two times – and as I remember, the students – or a student – would answer with words describing what they were wearing. I couldn’t hep but think of this classroom song as I began to contemplate this passage. So my question for you on this first day of our final week discussing “The Importance of Prayer” is this …. What are you wearing today?
Are you bathed in prayer and clothed in kindness, mercy, humility, gentleness, and patience? Or, are you depending on your own way and strength and clothed with the old tattered, unpleasant, raggedy clothes of harshness, haughtiness, impatience, and rudeness? Do you smell like the refuse of the world or the sweet and appealing love of Christ? Paul’s message to the Colossians was similar to the one he wrote to many of the other churches – in which he emphasized what they used to look like or act like compared to what they should look like and act like. His typical phrase was to “put off the old” and “put on the new”. In other words, don’t just say you’ve chosen to follow Jesus – look and live like you are a true follower of Jesus. Change the things you watch and listen to, consider the things your heart longs for, speak with words that encourage and build up rather than ones that tear down or offend. Be compassionate and understanding instead of harsh and demanding or intolerant. You get the picture -our attitude, actions, and words will either repel people or attract them. Jesus taught His followers that they were meant to be “lights on a hill” for the purpose of “attracting” others – with the idea that others would see the follower’s good deeds and give glory to God (Matthew 5:14-16). Paul’s teaching here in Colossians is very similar, live and love in a way that others will see a difference between you and the world and they will desire and seek after what you have. This is how we become a living testimony, a missionary where we live, work, and play.
No need to worry about the cost or the availability of the new and improved you. Through your faith in Jesus Christ the cost has been covered and God has supplied the new wardrobe through the Holy Spirit who lives in us (1 Cor 6:19). This is the same spirit who, according to Paul, produces the righteous fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, (Galatians 5:22-25). The decision is ours, just like we go to our closets choose what we will put on for the day – we must choose if we will live and clothe ourselves by the things of the Spirit or stick with the old nature of the flesh. So – what will you be wearing today?
Reflection: How does this fit in with our study, The Importance of Prayer? The answer is this – PRAY. Prayer is the light in your closest and the mirror on your wall – pray. Just like you can’t pick out your clothes in the dark and trust they will look good – without prayer, you can’t begin to trust that you will truly be kind or forgiving, as our verse teaches today. Ask God to help you live by the Spirit, look to Him for strength to be kind or to forgive what seems unforgivable. Ask Him to take control of what you say and to set a guard on your lips so that your words are not appalling or offensive but instead loving and appealing. Make a habit of looking in the mirror of His Word to see if what you’re wearing aligns with His Godly fashion and then wear it confidently – giving Him all the praise and glory.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.Galatians 5:22-25