Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

10 Revolutionizing your Relationships – Part 1

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Colossians 3:12-17

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

It’s here in Colossians 3 that there is a shift as we move from what we belief to how we behave. In the first few chapters we see Jesus as supreme over His creation and His church, and here we see He is also supreme over the Christian. You see there are practical implications that should be evident if one surrenders to the supremacy of the Savior. As such, we move from principles to practices, from the indicative to the imperative. Because it does little good if we can declare and defend the truth but fail to demonstrate it in our lives. In contrast to the pagan religions of Paul’s day who paid little attention to personal morality we are called to Christ like conduct. The pagan religions could bow before an idol, put their offering on the altar, and then go back to the same old life of sin. What they believed had no direct relationship with how they behaved. Their worship didn’t affect their walk. Today there are many Christians whose conduct doesn’t match their confession because they have a compartmentalized Christianity. What do others witness in your walk; does your behavior match your belief? We are called to be in the world not of the world. Paul’s preaching reminds us that we are set free from the powers around us, that we don’t have to repeat the problems of our past. As Believers we are called to put on the new nature and pursue God. The focus is not on rules or results but a relationship. Transformation involves trusting God, spending time with Him in a relationship. Paul’s proposal is that we live for the Lord and as he talks about the new nature he starts first with our:

  1. POSITION

Verse 12 says: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves” Paul starts with a statement of who we are. We are God’s chosen people, and it doesn’t get any better than that. Instead of coming to the One who wants us many of us are working to try and be wanted by the world. We are trying hard to fit into the culture instead of trusting in the Creator. The difference between being chosen and trying to fit in is the difference between our work and His. One involves being wanted, while the other involves working. Paul reminds us that the path to true and lasting change begins with position because position determines our:

a. Perspective

Colossians 3:1, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven” This is a simple and yet significant truth. But the reality is that if you are saved you can set your sights on what really matters. So often we let our past pain and present problems determine and dominate our perspective because we forget our position. When we lose sight of whose we are we lose sight of who we are and why we are here. Position is paramount and to illustrate that I want to share the following story. One day the commander of a great army had his prize steed run away from him. An alert private immediately jumped on a horse and chased after the steed. When the private returned the horse the commander smiled at the private and said, “Thank you,…Captain!” The overjoyed private immediately took his old uniform to the quartermaster and exchanged it for that of a captain. He then ran back to the barracks, packed his bags, and moved into the officers’ quarters. In an instant, the commander-in-chief had changed his status from that of a lowly private to that of a commissioned officer. He never once doubted the commander’s words, instead, he believed what the general had said and acted accordingly. The commander Jesus Christ has, by a single act, forever changed your status before God, by His death and resurrection, He has transformed us from chaos to chosen children. Our responsibility is to act in a way that is consistent with our new status and that is what Colossians 3 is all about. Paul is urging us to exchange the old desires, attitudes, and actions that were characteristic of our former lives for those that are indicative of our new rank and standing. Today many Christians are trying to live up to a position instead of living out their position. We are “Chosen” by God, you are significant and special according to the Savior. You see you don’t have to strive to arrive. So often we look at this passage and our thought process is, “if I would be a better Christian Christ would accept me” The truth is He already has. Not only are we chosen by the Creator but we are Holy. This means that we are set apart from a sinful world and dedicated to God. God accomplished this truth for us positionally now we are called to live it out practically. Just as the marriage ceremony sets apart a man and woman for each other exclusively, so salvation sets the believer apart exclusively for Jesus Christ. It would be a horrible thing if at the end of the wedding ceremony the bride ran off with another man. It is just as horrible if the Christian runs from the Lord to love the world. Not only are we chosen and holy but we are also loved. To be loved is the longing of every heart. We have a God who not only loves us just the way we are but loves us enough not to leave us that way. God’s love involves Him doing what is eternally best for us not what is easiest. This is His commitment to remain true to us, in all the circumstances of our life. God loves each of us just as we are and as we respond to His love we become who He has called us be. Because of our position as chosen, holy, loved children of God He calls us to put on our new uniform. Are you letting your past and your problems determine and dominate your perspective or are you letting your position as a child of the King?

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