Today’s Reading: Colossians 3:12-24
“What should I wear today?” This is the most frequently asked question at our house between the hours of 6 and 8am. Not only will I ask myself that question this morning, I will most likely hear that question coming from two of my daughters.
To find the answer for myself, I have to ask what the purpose is in the question. Is the motivation comfort or based on the weather forecast or to accomplish a purpose or to simply “look cute”? What am I doing today and how does this speak into the way I should dress? No, I am not going to walk down a red carpet with cameras flashing and journalists asking me “Sherry, who are you wearing today?” In fact, most likely no one else will really notice what I am wearing but this is still an important question for me because how I am dressed will affect the way I feel the rest of the day.
And today how I feel seems a little more important than most days. You see, today I will be attending my 25-year class reunion at Olivet Nazarene University. 25 years. Not only does that sound like a long time, it feels like a long time. So today I look in the mirror thinking back to my 21-year-old self and I notice the changes in my hair and my skin and sadly my waist line. I wish I could erase the effects of the 25 years and walk into my class reunion looking no more than a day older than I looked at our college graduation. How I look today may seem pretty significant to me but I believe God would prefer I redirect my focus.
So what is my purpose today? How does God want to use me and what does He want to accomplish through me? God has chosen me…today…for a reason…for a purpose…
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. – Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
It’s a good thing I like to accessorize because the decision of what to wear today has already been made for me – LOVE. All the other qualities are simply accessories to the primary outfit, which makes all the other details of the ensemble work, or as Paul put it, “binds them all together in perfect unity” (3:14 NIV).
If I purposely wear love today, it will affect the way I feel the entire day. If I start my day out clothed in the love of God, then everything else with be a natural outflow of my relationship with Him – compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness (3:12-13 NIV). It will affect the way I feel and it will affect what I do. What I do – now this is really where the importance of my day lies.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word of deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:15-17, NIV
If what I am going to do today is going to bear the name of the Lord Jesus, it is going to require love – not love produced by my own human effort, but the love of Jesus which He promises to fill me with as I spend time with him…drinking my morning coffee.
Paul goes on to talk about our appearance on the inside. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone (Colossians 4:6). To be gracious in what we say requires an attitude of submission. We give up our right to say what we feel like saying in order to submit to the voice of the Holy Spirit prompting us to say what God would have us to say.
Submission to our Heavenly Master is what makes it possible to do what he has asked us to do:
– Submit to your husband as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord (3:18)
– Love your wife and never treat her harshly (3:19)
– Obey your parents for this pleases the Lord (3:20)
– Do not aggravate your children or they will become discouraged (3:21)
– Obey and serve your earthly masters out of reverent fear for the Lord rather than for people (3:22-23)
– When in authority, be just and fair with those who answer to you for you have a Master in heaven (4:1)
As our Master, God is calling all of us to submission. When we submit to those in authority over us, we are submitting to the authority of God, who is our real Master.
Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. – Colossians 3:24
So, as servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, let’s do as Paul commands in Colossians 3:17: Represent Christ well today in everything that we do or say or “wear”, with a thankful heart for all God has done for us through Christ.
We represent Jesus. It is not only about what we are wearing (love accessorized by compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness) but WHO we are wearing. So tell us as you walk down the red carpet God has designed for you, WHO are you wearing today?