Characteristics of the New Self.
We are continuing a theme on the Putting of the Old Self and Putting on the New Self. In part three, Put Away Old Habits, I discussed more of what we are to put way. Today, we will look at the Characteristics that we are to put on with the new self.
Colossians 3:11-13, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
In Verse 11, Paul is telling us that as believers we are all the same in Christ. There is no distinction between one another for Christ is all and in all.
In verse 12 to the end of the chapter, Paul is telling us what the characteristics of a new life of a believer are. We are going to look at 12 & 13 today.
Let us take a closer look at the word meekness. It is defined in Wikipedia as follows, ‘Meekness is a possible attribute of human nature and behavior. It has been defined in several ways: righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering willing to follow gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple.’ There is a lot in just these two verses. We are instructed to put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, and patience. We are to bear with one another meaning carrying and supporting each other and most important to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.
For Further Thought
I like to think of this as thinking outside of ourselves and being other-minded. Again we find the word must in verse 13 which implies that we are to take action and not hold back. Luke 6:31 comes to my mind, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (NIV).’ Of ourselves, it is not possible but through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible. God gives us the grace to put these on especially when one stops to consider how much He has forgiven you. I have seen this in my own life and it has surprised me what He has given me the strength to do.
For instance, I have been able to be gracious when someone made an attempt to push my buttons in order to get a certain response out of me. I saw it for what it was and did not overreact. God helps me to see what is really going on and respond rather than react to the situation. I may not always get it right but God gives me grace when I fall short.
In the final part of this series, we will look at verse 14-17. Until then rejoice in the Lord; again I say rejoice.
What can you ask God to help you put on as you draw closer to Him?
Put Away the Old Habits.
Look for the Next Post on this Theme.
This is My Story to Share with You
What About You?
Putting on the New Self
My focus is on putting on the new self as mentioned in Colossians 3:10.
This week, I will be mining Colossians chapter 3:1-17. Let’s begin with verses 1-4,“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (ESV).
There is a lot here. First, take a look at the ‘If then.’ I think of this the same way I do the ‘therefore.’ It implies a connection with what came before this chapter. Looking back at chapter 2 it is verses 5 -7 that grab my focus. Colossians 2:5-6,“For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
To clarify, Paul is expressing to the Colossians his feelings for them as they persevere in faith. They are rooted and built up in Christ for this Paul rejoices. This is what brings us to the ‘If then.’ Being rooted and established in our faith in Christ, we are to seek things that above and set our minds on higher things. For our lives are hidden in Christ with God. Hidden means kept out of sight; concealed. Set means put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position.
In conclusion, we are to put, lay, or stand our minds on things that are above (higher things, Isaiah 55:8-9) because we are concealed in Christ with God. Christ is our life. In Him we move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
It takes discipline to set our minds on things above but we are not helpless. For we have the help of the Holy Spirit to become disciplined disciples of Jesus. In doing so all things will grow strangely dim. And through our trials we will prevail for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
Next in the series: A Paradigm Shift.
So what do you need to do to set your mind on things above and not on earthly things? What things are your setting your mind on?
Treasures are from God Above.
I thought that today I would focus on the treasures that God has given me as I put Him first and how I look at things differently. In every situation, there is something to be thankful for and to consider as a gift from God. For instance, when I left Las Vegas God had brought snow to the mountain tops and instead of complaining for the colder temps I thought what a send off for the mountains were beautiful. Another of His gifts was the pleasure of sitting with Jamilia from Australia. You see, my older son has a fascination with Australia. She was returning to Perth, Australia, after a 5-week journey to Trinidad and back. Only God could have done that knowing what a treasure this would be. I have her picture to treasure.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (ESV)
God does not change! Just today talking with a new friend and a treasure, J.R., I realized how amazing that is. God’s love, mercy, grace, and compassion never change. Think about this for a moment! We would not still be here if God changed. He is the only being that does not change. Think how many times that you change your mind in a day let alone a week. If God was like this we would all be dead.
What treasures can you find to give God thanks for today? Give Him thanks for being unchangeable! Count your blessings. Go and tell someone. It is good to share. An attitude of gratitude will lift your spirit. Therefore, rejoice in the Lord, again I say rejoice! Praise the Lord now and forever!
Mining Proverbs 2:3-5, 10-11 for Understanding.
You can find the word understanding in several places in God’s Word. Have you ever taken the time to contemplate its meaning? I want to explore it in the above passage.
Let us first define it. It is the ability to understand something; comprehension. We find the word in verse 3, ‘…and raise your voice for understanding.’ Thus, we are to raise our voices to God for comprehension of His word. Verse 4 tells us ‘to seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures.’ Seek is defined as an attempt to find.
Therefore, we are to make every effort to seek insight and understanding as if we were searching for silver and hidden treasures. This is not a passive action but active and sought after with purpose and intent on finding it. God gives wisdom to those who ask without finding fault. He wants us to cry out to Him for understanding.
Furthermore, there is a reason we call out for it. This is given in verses 10-11. “For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant for your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,” ESV.
This being said seeking insight, understanding, and wisdom from God is good. It benefits the heart and soul but one has to mine it as one would for silver and hidden treasure. But this will take time and determination. And I know it is well worth it.
Mine His Word for Yourself.
I pray that your mining God’s Word, as if for silver, will be rewarding.
Each person’s walk with Gods is different and unique. Hence, I am just sharing with you what I have learned because I want to give God the glory for what He is doing in my life.