December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”—Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
One of my favorite movies as a tween girl was The Princess Diaries, where Mia, a quirky teenage girl, discovers she’s an heir to a royal family. She undergoes a complete makeover, one that makes her peers significantly notice her new wardrobe and attire. Most importantly, she undergoes internal changes and uses her newfound identity to help others in need (cue the happy tears of my twelve-year-old self).
In today’s passage, Paul lays out a significant reminder for God’s people, one that inspires a similar call to bravery and compassion for those who are in need of finding Jesus.
God’s Chosen People
Paul reminds the church in Colossae who they are: chosen by God. God chose His people before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4) because of His perfect love for them. You and I have also been chosen by God simply because He loves us.
God in His infinite love for humankind desires those who don’t know His love to come to a saving knowledge of His grace and, consequently, become His chosen people, too.
Holy and Dearly Loved
Paul continues by saying that in Christ they are holy, or set apart for His purposes, and dearly loved. God has set us apart for Himself, and He desires to bring others into relationship with Him so they may experience His unconditional and life-transforming love.
How does our identity in Christ relate to loving the lost? Peter gives us the answer: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9–10 NKJV).
To proclaim His praises. Our new identity in Christ points to His redemptive work in us, and it’s how this lost world will know God’s love. We were once in darkness, we were once lost, and now that we’re found, our transformation leads others to the God who rescued us.
The Proper Attire
Our inner transformation manifests outwardly and shows the way to Jesus in how we wear God’s characteristics of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. When we’re clothed in the lovingkindness God has shown us, we display something the lost need—and deeply desire—but are looking in all the wrong places to find. We show them where to find who they’re desperately in need of.
Friend, you and I have received a new identity—we’ve been chosen, named co-heirs with Christ, and set apart for a heavenly Kingdom. We’ve been clothed in the royal garments that our King adorns. The outerwear we fashion will reveal to this world the inner transformation that has occurred in us because of Christ and in turn, with the Holy Spirit’s power, will draw the lost to the source where they can find it, too.
Pause: Reflect on Peter’s words that you’re a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. What do those words mean to you?
Practice: Write out the garments we’re called to wear (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience) in a place where you can see it. Put these characteristics into practice in your relationships today and use them as opportunities to bring up conversations about Jesus.
Pray: God, thank You for chosing me simply because You love me. Help me to be aware of who I am in You and to find freedom in the identity You’ve given me. Use me, Jesus, to reveal Your love to those around me. Let them see You in me and may it lead those who are lost to finding You. Amen
Gabriella Bemis serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.