Most of us are never just satisfied with our lives “as is.” Sometimes that means we need to practice contentment…but other times, this is actually a good thing, because on some level we’re all longing for transformation. The beautiful news is that Jesus wants to transform us as we walk with him! And that takes shape in lives that produce beautiful results––more on this in our next message from Colossians 3!
1. Time to take a self-assessment
- Paul reminds us we are the elect of God––chosen, holy and beloved. That’s who God has made us to be, but we have to take a self-assessment and ask ourselves if we’re really living into this reality.
- This is not an opportunity to beat ourselves up for something we’re not doing well. We’re all in process, and Jesus is with us on the journey. We need to practice true humility: seeing God accurately and ourselves accurately in light of him. That means holding in tension the fact that we are loved, and we all have work to do.
- When we’re able to accept the Lord’s love and let it inspire us to live a life that pleases him, we will find that we are more at peace with ourselves and with those around us. That is the harmony that we were intended to live in as believers.
Because of this passage of scripture, what do you need to change immediately in your life?
2. What do you let in?
- If we really want to grow in the amazing list of attributes Paul lists in verses 12-14, we have to be discerning about what we let into our lives. Paul repeats the verb “let” here, because Jesus has specific things he wants to do in our lives––we have to let him.
- When we surrender to the Lord’s work in us, we can’t contain it. It begins to spill out of us in the behaviors that Paul describes: teaching, encouragement, wisdom, worship, and gratitude.
- As the Lord’s work begins to pour out of us, we start to see a transformation, not only in our times of prayer and worship, but in everything we do. When we are surrendered to the Lord, our job, our school, our conversations, our interactions with family and friends are all an act of worship that glorifies the Lord.
What do you need to let into your life? What do you need to exclude from your life?
3. The Christian home should reveal Jesus
- The principles to remember here are we are all called to submit to Christ and to one another. The instructions for wives to submit to their husbands is mirrored by instructions for husbands to die to themselves and live self-sacrificially as Jesus does.
- The instructions for families in the Bible are an ideal; they are descriptive of families as God intended them to be. We should strive to emulate this ideal in our families as much as possible, while realizing that many of us come from broken families. Those wounds are real and affect us too.
- Whether we look at authority structures in government systems, the home, or our workplaces, we submit first and foremost to the Lord. When we’re under the authority of Jesus, we will live and love as we should in all the street-level realms of our lives.
Reflect on your primary relational spheres right now (family, friends, your workplace, etc). What are the themes you notice, both positive and negative? How is Jesus seeking to transform your relationships?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?