Colossians 3:1-4 New Living Translation
Living the New Life
3 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your[a] life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
In the miracle of conversion, a number of things happen.
Our sins are forgiven, we are adopted into God’s family, and we are given the status of sons and daughters.
Not only that, but we are also given a new location with Christ in the heavenly places.
There is for the Christian a radical change in our spiritual environment as a result of our union with the risen Christ—and it is our place in Christ that securely establishes our priorities.
It is because we have been “raised with Christ” that we are to “seek the things that are above.”
This reality was important for the new followers of the Colossian church to try to grasp.
As Paul was writing to them, they were being influenced by deceptive doctrine.
False teachers were imposing man-made rules upon them, saying, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (Colossians 2:21).
Yet these external rules, which were intended to improve their moral behavior, ironically were “of no value in stopping the indulgences of the flesh” (v 23).
The same remains true for us: even when we attempt to remove ourselves from sin, we will not ever be able to completely stop our own propensity towards that which is truly impure, unholy, and untrue.
This form of external religion was a bad virus that was threatening to embed itself within the Colossian church, combining doctrinal confusion with moral carelessness. (The two go hand in hand.)
So Paul addressed the issue by reminding his Colossian readers that the way to get to begin getting a grip with our behavior is by beginning to understand who and whose we are—what our lives have become through the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Christians, our lives are wrapped up in Jesus. We are in Him, and He is in us.
We have been raised to live outward with Christ, our lives are hidden in Him.
This fact alone is the only sure basis of our security—our confidence in the face of our own propensity to do wrong things.
Are are we trying to live the Christian life alone, the “shy Christian” the “best intentions Christian” by your own efforts and fight our sin in our own strength?
Are we seeking to be a better Christian and wondering why it is proving elusive—or, worse, are we beginning to wonder whether we are a Christian at all or whether it is worth the effort to share our Savior with another human being?
God’s Heart Does Not, Must Not, Ever Stop With Us
One of the greatest privileges as a child of God is that with our Savior Jesus Christ living in and within us, we all have the heart of our heavenly Father.
We do not have to wonder how God feels about us.
We do not have to wonder if God will guide us.
We do not have to question whether God loves us or God cares for, about, us.
Through the Holy Spirit we have continual, free access to the heart of God.
By sharing God, and caring for our neighbors our relationship with God will grow deeper, become freer as we learn how to have God’s heart in this life.
1 John 4:7-10 Easy-to-Read Version
Love Comes From God
7 Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child. And so everyone who loves knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him. 10 True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. He sent his Son as the way to take away our sins.
As wonderful and life-giving as it is to access the heart of God for ourselves, having God’s heart beating within, is not, was not ever meant to stop with us.
His heart is meant to fill us, empower us, and transform us, pour forth from us unto our neighbors, to surely live in such a way we are “light in the darkness”.
Matthew 5:14-16 Easy-to-Read Version
14 “You are the light that shines for the world to see. You are like a city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. 15 People don’t hide a lamp under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand. Then the light shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
As a believer you and I can reveal the heart of God to others.
We’ve been given access to a deep, revelatory knowledge of God’s love that you might shine the light of God’s goodness to a world that only knows darkness.
You and I can reveal the heart of God through the very way you and I honor yours and mine neighbors rather than speaking ill intent of our neighbors.
You and I can represent the humility of Jesus by serving our neighbor rather than being self-seeking.
Lifting the basket off of ourselves, we can reveal the light of God’s grace in our lives by offering compassion when others treat you or your neighbor poorly.
And you can display the courage that comes from a true understanding of God’s unconditional love by living authentically rather than building up a false image.
You and I were made to share God’s heart.
You and I were made to reveal God’s heart.
You and I were made to co-labor with God, our Savior Jesus and the Holy Spirit in seeing the truth of the gospel proclaimed and bear fruit in the lives of others.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God has critically important work prepared for you and me today.
Look for opportunities to share what God, through Christ is doing in our life.
Look continuously, constantly for ways we can be that more genuine reflection of the aspects of God’s heart He is revealing to you and me every single day.
Do not let the love of God be hidden with us, contained within us like a super top classified “eyes only” secret, but “blow all whistled,” unveil it, share it freely, knowing His love never runs out, is what every human heart, is searching for.
Make a Friend, Be a Friend, Bring a Friend to Christ
Have you ever had the joy of sharing Christ with someone and actually seeing that person sit beside you and come to know the Lord as their personal Savior?
There is nothing quite the same in this world like it!
We know that resurrected Jesus said, “ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).
How do we do what Jesus said?
Colossians 3:1-4 The Message
He Is Your Life
3 1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
He is so much a complete part of my life, I need to constantly “pray it forward.”
I need to be constantly aware of that the basket over my life needs to be lifted.
I need to be living a life which is more “God forward” than it is “me behind.”
to just go ahead and unleash this thought and this prayer from within me …
Psalm 19:11-14 The Message
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
Getting to the Point of Asking: “Excuse Me, How is it With Your Soul?”
This is the sort of “self talk” which constantly runs through any too shy spirit:
“Everywhere I go people say to me, it is the old familiar story –
“I really want to bring someone to Christ, but I just don’t know where to start.”
I know it is true because I can confess my own guilty thoughts in this manner.
Please, Let me give you a few ideas that you may try to put into practice today…
- Create a soul winning prayer list. Write down the names of those that you know need Christ and commit to pray for them every day. Ask the Lord to use you to personally reach them. Remember, we cannot pray if we are not willing to obey.
- Commit gospel Scriptures to memory. We are to be ready always to give an explanation of the gospel (Ephesians 6:15; 1 Peter 3:15). The greatest thing you can give to others is God’s Word. Begin with John 3:16 and great salvation verses out of Romans. Memorize them. Meditate on them. Minister them to others.
- Share your story. If you are a believer you have a story to tell! It is the story of how you came to know Christ and what He means to you. Next to the Scriptures it is the most powerful resource you have. Practice giving it to someone and prepare to give it to as many people as possible. Those who will never listen to a sermon will listen to your story.
- Demonstrate the love of Christ. The gospel message begins with “For God so loved the world that He gave…” His love breaks down barriers and removes prejudices. Ask the Lord to help you show kindness to others. A little kindness may open a big door for the gospel.
- Give gospel literature to others wherever you go. So many people I have met through the years were brought to Christ when reading a gospel tract. Never underestimate the power of the printed Word. As available, carry literature with you in a back pack. Accompany it with a personal word. God can use simple tools to accomplish His work.
- Bring someone with you to a church service specifically to hear the gospel. Communicate to your pastor that you are prayerfully bringing someone with you who needs the Lord. Pray God will open their heart as they hear the truth.
- Have a Bible study in your home or on the job. Starting, Inviting, Hosting an informal Bible study will give opportunities to get acquainted, discuss spiritual truths with neighbors and co-workers. Many people who would not “feel right” going to a church service or prayer meeting would come to a friend’s home.
- Ask people to read the Gospel of John and to tell you what they think. I have had the greatest joy of seeing people come to faith in Christ through simply reading the Scriptures. At the very least, it opens the conversation about who Christ is. The Word of God for the Children of God is living, active, dynamic, powerful!
- Pray daily, together as much as possible for divine appointments. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you both someone to talk to. That is a powerful prayer He will answer in His time! When answered, then the both of you live expectantly, looking everywhere for people that you can share the good news with.
- Actually Begin. (Acts 2:37-47, Acts 3:1-10)No one becomes an effective witness by only reading about it. It is time to get off the pews, our couches, and get in the game! We all get nervous, but as we obey the Lord He has promised to help us.
Ask the Lord to prepare your heart and the the heart of some soul and give you a divine appointment today!
Some will respond positively.
Some will respond politely.
Some will respond politically.
Some will respond correctly.
Still more will respond out and out with vast amounts of negativity.
As we live, love and move and have our being in this world, don’t dwell upon your failures or look to your own performance as the basis of your security.
Be encouraged, keep trying as the Apostles did through out the Book of Acts.
Perhaps a study of the Book of Acts is the encouragement needed right now.
You have been raised with Christ.
He alone is your hope.
Make His glory, and not your own goodness, the focus of your days and you will find our behavior will certainly bear testimony to His life-transforming power.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit for as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be – risen lives, risen souls, worlds without end.
In the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
1. Meditate on the importance of sharing God’s heart with the world. Allow Scripture to fill you with a desire to be a reflection of God’s heart.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
2. What aspect of God’s heart can you share with someone today? What part of God’s character can you reflect to the world around you?
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to put a person or group of people on your heart that he wants you to love well today. Ask him how he wants to use you to reveal the heart of God.
An important aspect of sharing God’s heart is trusting in faith, remembering that God will surely, certainly use your heart beat to inspire other heart beats.
When you choose to live a life co-laboring with your heavenly Father you get to experience the supernatural.
It’s miraculous when people choose to accept Jesus.
It’s astounding when our service, compassion, and love tears down walls around people’s hearts that they might be more open to God.
Don’t just live a normal life today.
Live a “I Am risen in Christ life today.”
Allow God to use you by sharing his heart.
May your day be filled with an abundance of miracles, signs and wonder and a ceaseless unrelenting awe at your heavenly Father who will unhesitatingly use you, me, us, in mighty and powerful ways – to build up His Kingdom on Earth.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.