Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chosen By God (Colossians 3:12-14)

Today's scripture: Colossians 3:12-14

I began journaling over 22 years ago, just one year after I recommitted my life to the Lord. Whenever I begin a new journal (I just started number 40), I reread several of the previous. It's a wonderful way to reflect on my journey and God's faithfulness.

Many themes run consistently throughout: forgiveness, humility, love.

I've documented how I was able to forgive others because Jesus forgave me. I often—very often—humbly thank God for His grace and mercy He continually showers on me. I revel in the abundant and everlasting love with which He envelops me.

I am blessed. So very blessed.

My God has given me so much more than I deserve, so how can I do anything but show His love to others?

Paul wrote to the Christians in Colossae that they were to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. These are attributes that are sometimes in short supply, even in the church. How often do we complain about others or question their service, thinking we could do something better than they?

We're to bear with and forgive each other. How often do we hold a grudge instead of forgiving any complaint? When we hold on too tightly to anger or unforgiveness, we're allowing a cancer to grow in our hearts. One of the most freeing things we can do is forgive someone who's hurt us. I know this from personal experience.

Finally, we are to put on love, the "perfect bond of unity." I pray every day that the body of Christ would be unified, that we'd celebrate those things we have in common and agree to disagree about the rituals or traditions that aren't foundational to our faith.

If we would love each other with genuine love, we would show the world what it really means to be like Christ, the One who loves us all so much He was willing to die for us.

This is nothing less than those of us who are "chosen by God" should live.

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