Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 10, 2016
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption… 1 Corinthians 1:30
I love it when scripture jumps off the page, grabs you by the heart, and makes you want to dance. That’s how I felt when I recently read Colossians 3:1-17. Among other things, this passage says to. . . Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2); put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (Colossians 3:5); clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12), and rid yourself of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Okay, maybe you are wondering why this passage made me want to dance. Good question. Here’s why. . . when this portion of Scripture is read as a list of commands to secure God’s acceptance, it feels condemning because it’s a list no one can measure up to. Even on my best days, I only get a few things on it right. The great news is when this passage is read in its entirety from the perspective of already belonging to Christ, it’s freeing. Why? Because these commands are preceded by identity statements about who the Christian is in Christ.
Essentially, God is saying, “Since you are My child and because you have been raised with Christ, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Set your minds on things above. Get rid of whatever belongs to your earthly nature because this is who you are in Me. Act in accordance with your identity as My child.”
If these commands in Colossians were given in an effort for us to earn favor with God they would read like this: “So that you will become God’s chosen people holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness us and patience. . .” or “So that you will be raised with Christ, rid yourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.” But isn’t it wonderful that Colossians 3 isn’t a laundry list of how to earn God’s favor? If you are in Christ, you already have His favor. You are holy and dearly loved.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
PrayerLord, thank you that you have made me acceptable and that in you I am holy and dearly loved. Thank you for your commands that teach me to follow you.
ApplicationMake a list of all the statements proclaiming your identity in Christ in the related readings, then thank God for loving you unconditionally.
Related ReadingRomans 10:9; Ephesians 1:3-13; Romans 8:29-30
Post/Tweet todayIf you are in Christ, you already have God’s favor. You are holy and dearly loved. #WisdomHunters #HolyandDearlyLoved
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