Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 8 - Our New Selves

Colossians 3:12-17

Yesterday, I wrote how the phrase “since you have taken off your old self” made me think of a snake shedding its skin; today I am going to write about our new skin. Yesterday’s scripture also made me think of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. In that book, he wrote of Eustice, a self-centered boy who found a dragon’s cave filled with gold. As Eustice helped himself to the dragon’s gold, he himself turned into a dragon. The only way he was able to shed the dragon body was to give up the gold and have Aslan help him shed his skin, which was a painful process. I think it is important to remember that we need God’s help shedding our old selves; and it is good to remember that the process can be painful as we are asked to let go of something we may have enjoyed hanging on to.

Please read Colossians 3:12-17. Paul gently reminds us that we are now part of God’s chosen people, so we need to show it. In the music world, we have a term called “sight-reading.” This refers to the first time a musician looks at a piece of music; and how well the musician plays through the piece for the first time depends on how well they looked at important aspects of the music such as the key signature. Usually, a musician makes several mistakes while sight-reading; however, the musician is expected to improve the more they practice the piece. I truly feel that our walk with God is the same way. The more we use compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love; the more it will become our nature.

Part of the answer to how to live this Spirit-filled life is given to us in Colossians 3:16a, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…” God’s Word is life changing and divides the sinful nature from the Spirit nature. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” We are given vivid examples in the Bible how God’s Word is not just words on a page; it is alive and active, and it is in you! You are being changed when you not just read the Bible, but you listen to what it is saying. When we meditate on His Word, we are empowered to do what God desires. There is another step to take, however. James 1:22-23 says, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Paul ends this part of scripture with, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” We are living our lives for God and no one else; we are also His representatives to a lost world. It is so important that we are living the life He desires. Not only are we walking in obedience to Him because we are amazed by His love for us and our love for Him, but our changed lives give hope to those who are watching.

Are you letting God’s Word dwell in you richly?

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