God’s Word of Love
Colossians 3:1-17: Paul encourages the Colossians to set their hearts and minds on the things of heaven and to put aside earthly desires. He reminds them that they are people of God, united as a community bound by love.
1 You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. 2Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!
The Old Life and the New
5You must put to death, then, the earthly desires at work in you, such as sexual immorality, indecency, lust, evil passions, and greed (for greed is a form of idolatry). 6Because of such things God’s anger will come upon those who do not obey him. 7At one time you yourselves used to live according to such desires, when your life was dominated by them.
8But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits 10 and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself. 11As a result, there is no longer any distinction between Gentiles and Jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarians, savages, slaves, and free, but Christ is all, Christ is in all.
12 You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. 15The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. 17Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 3:17
Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
Paul talks about being raised to life with Christ. What does this mean to you? What does it mean to you to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” (verses 9-10)? Reread verses 12-17. How do you envision a community that reflects the unity Paul describes?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the new life you offer. Clothe me with your righteousness and set my heart and mind on you so that all I do and say reflects my thanks and love for you. Amen.
John 3:1-21: A religious leader meets with Jesus at night.