Wed, Jun 24, 2020
Well hey Anthem…
It’s been a bit since our last devotional… To be honest, Kristen and I needed to take a bit of downtime with our family after they got out of school. I’ll be back to preaching this coming Sunday, but it’s been a great few days away. The last devo we posted was the third out of four related to our response to the conversation around the sin of racism. The four stages that we talked about were lament, repentance, listening and godly living. Each of these postures is critical for us as a church to be able to engage fellow believers as we move towards unity in the body of Christ and unbelievers as we continue to invite people to experience life abundant and eternal in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Today we’re going to be talking about godly living. I realize that this is a huge topic and kind of like the entire New Testament… so, rather than covering everything as it relates to godly living, we want to talk about godly living through the lens of race, unity and living in a contentious world.
Read Colossians 3:12-17
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 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. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The initial instruction is to “put on then…” these character qualities. Take some time to journal through putting on the various qualities of Colossians 3… as you journal, answer the question of whether a particular quality conflicts with your instincts.
One of the challenges to growing in godly living can be the sense of perpetual growth… Do we ever “arrive” or is it a long range, lifelong project. AND can we be content in the perpetual pursuit of Christlikeness… For some, the idea of always repenting, always growing, always needing that daily bread can be a bit challenging. One of the most powerful aspects of the gospel is it’s ability to keep growing us, keep shaping us, keep refining us until Kingdom come.
Read 2 Peter 1:3-11
His divine power has granted to us all things to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter says “if these qualities are yours and they are increasing”. His understanding is that the process of growing to be like Jesus is an ever increasing project of development. That’s a good thing. So what is supposed to be ours and increasing? Take some time to look up a definition for each of the following. What other passages of scripture come to mind to round out your understanding? Take some time with Jesus knowing that he both fully approves of you now as you are, and also continues to take you on a journey of growth as you follow him. Ask him to lead you to how you can “increase” each of these in your life.
We love you, Anthem. We are praying for you now as we write this! We are praying that we walk as people who abide in the love of Jesus and are quick to reflect that love to those around us. Wherever you are at today, our encouragement would be to take pause, be with Jesus. Be reminded of how much you are loved.