Watch the most recent sermon on 10.17.2021 Go Now!
October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”—Colossians 3:12–14 (NIV)
Passing by a homeless man, Mr. Smith regarded his situation and felt compassion. He stopped and said to the man, “How can I help you?” Surprised, the homeless man looked up and replied, “I need a job but only have rags to wear.” Smith invited the man to follow him, led him to an upscale department store, and bought him a three-piece suit. “There you go, my friend. You are what you wear! Success is yours.” Satisfied, Smith left the man where he stood. The homeless man stared after him incredulously only to return to his former station. He appreciated the suit but wished the man had shown him how to use it.
Mr. Smith had good intentions, but he failed to follow through. Not so with Jesus. He considers our condition, feels compassion, and clothes us in His garland of salvation and His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). He sets us up for success. But He doesn’t just array and walk away; Jesus follows through.
It’s what God does for anyone with faith in Jesus Christ: He exchanges our filthy rags for His holy apparel—our sins for His righteousness. With this renewal of mind and spirit, we’re invited to put on our “new self” which is the likeness of Christ (Ephesians 4:24). God abides in us and perfects His love within us (1 John 4:12). It’s this follow through that equips us to do everything good and pleasing according to His will (Hebrews 13:21).
But it’s a two-way street. We must also follow through and live relative to our renewal of life by seeking the things above and ceasing to live by the immoral, idolatrous standards of the world (Colossians 3:1–5). This means that each day we put off our old self and yield to Jesus’ lead, extending the same grace to others He has shown us.
Is this easy? Not by a long shot. Our carnal, selfish nature struggles against the spiritual side (Galatians 5:17). Even Paul confessed he had the desire to do what was good but couldn’t carry it out (Romans 7:18). His saving grace was God who delivered him through Jesus (Romans 7:25) and Christ who gave him strength (Philippians 4:13).
Like the homeless man, we’ve been graciously clothed. But in our own strength, we aren’t equipped to use what we’ve been given to succeed. We need Jesus. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). We need to draw from His Spirit of kindness, gentleness, humility, patience, love, and forgiveness. And He generously gives when we ask. I pray we daily put on this holy apparel and, in His strength, be what we wear and wear it well.
Pause: Reread today’s Scripture. Do you struggle with any of the attributes listed? (Don’t be discouraged, we all do!)
Practice: Devote time in prayer each day and ask Jesus to help you overcome anything that doesn’t align with His will for your life.
Pray: Lord, I admit I struggle, but I want to get right with You and with those around me. Holy Spirit, I ask for Your conviction and help so I can love like Jesus and live in unity with others. Please make my joy complete. According to the grace You have given me, show me how to extend that same grace to others. For I am Yours for Your good will. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.