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Put on Christ

In writing the epistle to the Colossians 3:12-13 (KJV) Paul basically exhorted them to put on the character of Christ. To put on means to become. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye”.  

Paul reminds us all as Christians that we are holy, beloved of God and the elect of God. We are only Holy because Christ made us so and to be elect means to be chosen; God chose each one of us and Christ died for us so we could be born again and made Holy.

Paul exhorts us to put on bowels of mercies (this is the greatest compassion we can muster), kindness (this is not just having good thoughts toward someone but goodness in action), humbleness of mind (simply put, this is not having any arrogance about us), meekness (I love this one; this isn’t being a mouse but knowing who you are in Christ and yet being perfectly humble about it), longsuffering (this is patience, especially in the face of adversity). In verse 13 we are told to bear with each other and commanded to forgive.

Wow, tall orders, but in Christ we can do all things (Phil 4:13); he enables as we walk by faith.

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A Recipe for Change

I love Paul’s humility in 1 Cor 2:1-5. He gets to the very crux of the source and power of Christianity. He says I came preaching the Gospel with fear and trembling; speaking only God’s word, not man’s wisdom and not with elegance of speech. Paul dared not insert himself but focused on Jesus; allowing the Spirit to give him the words to share. He gave pre-eminence to the power of the word of God to affect and change men’s hearts and lives. His preaching was accompanied by clear demonstrations of the power of the Holy Spirit; signs wonders and miracles.

To preach, as the word is defined, is simply to proclaim, publish or herald. As the word is preached, the Holy Spirit takes it, reveals it to the sensitive and receptive heart and provides the power for the word to impact, bless and change the receptive listener (1 Cor 2:10). Paul was bold enough to say that as we preach in obedience to God and as directed by the Holy Spirit, then the father will demonstrate his power among us.

God’s word, his power, humility, fear of God and obedience, as exemplified in Paul’s life and ministry, are a recipe for change. We really need to meditate on this and get it down in our spirits.

 

A Key to Moving on with God

In Jeremiah chapter 23 we see that Israel listened to the false prophets because those prophets tickled their ears. To have your ears tickled is to hear things that please and appeal to our carnal or fleshly nature. Jeremiah warned of God’s anger with sinful Israel but they would not listen. Do we take heed of God’s word, his whole word or are we selective, hearing only our favorite words? If we want to move on with God and be all he wants us to be he will need to change us and chasten (to discipline or instruct) us with his word (Rom 12:2; Heb 12:5-11).

Often, we pray but the results don’t come or we make decisions and they prove to be the wrong ones. We must hear from God with our spiritual ears not just our physical ears and minds and be changed (Matt 13:14-16; 1 Cor 2:14). We need to humble ourselves and repent (1 Peter 5:6), plough up the fallow ground of our hearts (soften our hearts toward God; Jer 4:3). God’s word can break and change us if we let it (Jer 23:29), but we have to allow this to happen. To fail to submit to God in this way assigns us to the status quo, mediocrity and frustration. To allow God to change us maybe painful, but it leads us on to his highest and best: “above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3: 20-21; KJV). Wow, I want that, what about you? Let’s press into God’s word and let him change us; nothing held back.

 

Does a Casual Relationship with God Cut It?

We all get excited about Mark 11:24, where we are told that if we believe when we pray, we will receive. In other words, faith is believing you have something when you pray, not just when you actually physically receive it.

However, the 15th chapter of John always catches my attention when we think of using our faith to receive from God. In verses 7 and 16 God puts some conditions on our getting our prayers answered. We need to abide in Christ and let his words abide in us and we need to bear fruit, then God can answer our prayers. Abide is to tarry or remain continuously. Fruit is the life changed by God and the godly works that result.  

In other words, a casual relationship with God doesn’t cut it, we need to have genuinely asked Christ into our lives as savior and Lord (Rom 10:9-10). We need to have a genuine desire to press in to him, to allow him to change us, grow us and use us. The life surrendered to God and sold out to his will and purpose will be blessed (Matt 6:33).  

How do we press in? Well, how do you grow any relationship? You spend time, you communicate and you get to know the other person. With God, you spend time in the bible, you pray, you praise him, worship him, and give him thanks, you just spend time in his presence; there are no short cuts. God’s greatest joy is to bless his children (Ps 115:13). Walk and talk with him today

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Let God Convict You Today

I love the Psalms; reading one a day is a good plan. David really shows his love, fear of and heart for God in his poetry. In Psalm 139 verses 23 and 24 David humbles himself before his God and cries out that his heavenly Father would search his heart for any wickedness and show him how to walk in godliness.

As with David, we cannot do this and walk the walk on our own; o how we need God in our lives. In Romans chapter 2 and verse 15 we learn that our born-again spirits, hearts or consciences will show us if we are right or wrong, if we allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate and strengthen our spirits with the word of God. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26; KJV).

Get in the word, ask God to make the word come alive to you (what we call revelation) by the Holy Spirit as you read and meditate. Allow the spotlight of God’s word to show you where you need to change so you can draw ever closer to God. Remember it is not in our own strength but it is God who shows us the way and empowers us to change and be more like him (Phil 1:6). “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). Lord, flood us with your presence, your Holy Spirit today and have your way in our lives. Be blessed today.

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