Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Colossians 3:12-14 --- Please, clothe yourself!

12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

This has been my prayer that I would be clothed and characterized by these attributes: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. I want and need more of these characteristics in my life so that I can treat others better and with true love.

So how do we clothe ourselves in these beautiful garments? I don't know about you, but I am ready to just start putting them on. But wait, in verse 5 it tells us to "put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature"; in verse 8 it says "rid yourselves of all such things"; and verse 9 says "since you have taken off your old self with its practices". You see, we must first take off our old garments that are filthy, torn, and filled with the stencth of sin and worldliness. It is after we take off the old that we can then put on the new. I have tried in the past to put on the new clothes over the old ones, but the new clothes didn't fit right and the stench of the old eventually came through. We can't just cover up the old, we must take them off and get rid of them.

So the progression is (1) take off the old rags of the world and then (2) put on the new garments of the Kingdom. To simplify it: take off - put on. To really simplify it: off /on.

Lord, help me to continue to take off the old ratty clothes I have been wearing all of these years. I want those rags gone forever so that these new garments of compassion, patience, humility, gentleness, and love will fit perfectly. Continue your work in me so that you will be glorified.

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