Colossians, Week 7

Colossians Title

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

Last week from Colossians we talked about some things that we were to put aside. Among them were immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. The conclusion was that our security must be in Christ alone.

Today, from Pastor Brian, in Colossians 3:12-17, we learned about several things we must put on. In this section, Paul mentions eight graces that a Christ follower must put on:

1. Compassion–this has to do with how we feel about each other. From our hearts, We must display thoughts of tender compassion for one another.

2. Kindness–this has to do with how we treat one another. Since Christ has dealt with us in kindness, we need to show the same kindnesses to one another.

3. Humility–this has to do with how we think about others. Do we really put others ahead of ourselves? Humility was not valued in Paul’s day. I don’t believe it is valued much in our day either. But Jesus Christ was the supreme example of humility. See Philippians 2.

4. Gentleness–this is not weakness. Gentleness is like a soothing wind or a healing medicine. Our words can, and should be that to others.

5. Patience–The word means “have a long temper.” A patient person can put up with people and circumstances that provoke us without retaliating. Pastor Brian brought out the fact that we Christians are not all at the same place. We must be patient and wait for others to catch up.

6. Forbearance or bearing with one another–this means to hold up or to hold back. As God holds back His judgment with us, we need to that with one another.

7. Forgiveness–we need to forgive as God forgave. A couple of examples are that God forgave bad people and when He forgives, He also restores. It is not enough to put up with people who have wronged us, we also need to forgive them.

8. Love–all the previous virtues are valueless if they are not done in love. 1st Corinthians 13. We can go so far as to become a martyr for Christ, but if it is not done out of love for Him, it is of no profit to us.

Pastor Brian ended his message today by talking about the peace of God and the Word of God. How can we know we are out of God’s will? It is when we lose our peace. Verse 16 says to let the word of Christ dwell or rule in our hearts. Warren Wiersbe says: “The Word will transform our lives if we will but permit it to “dwell” in us richly. The word dwell means “to feel at home.” If we have experienced the grace and the peace of Christ, then the Word of Christ will feel at home in our hearts. We will discover how rich the Word is with spiritual treasures that give value to our lives.” I believe the more we treasure and let God’s word dwell in us, the more we will “put on” these eight character traits that Pastor Brian talked about today.

May the Holy Spirit teach us to live by these principles that we learned about today. God bless you all.

Another Day at Stonepoint (Colossians 3:1-11)

Colossians Title

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

In all honesty, I don’t really know how to write this up today. When I got up it seemed like a normal Sunday morning. I got up and left for church so that I would be on time to greet people as they came in. About the only thing different, was there seemed to be more GFA people there than usual.

I took my usual chair in the back row as usual and the worship time began. One of the associate pastors gave the message today. I doubt if he had any idea of how God would use him today, especially in my life. The message today was from Colossians 3:1-11. Here are a few of the highlights from the pastor‘s message:

Verse 1–This verse talks about the fact that we have been raised up with Christ. To be raised up, we first have to have died. We have to die to ourselves. Our lives should be like we are a “dead man walking.” I started thinking, I know that I have been crucified and raised with Christ. I believe it with all my heart. But how has that fact really worked out in my life. It seems for the most part of my Christian life, I have been struggling with the same sins over and over. Knowing God has forgives my sins but powerless to overcome them. I concluded that if I am dead, these sins should not be a continuous part of my life.

Verse 2–the pastor said we need to set our minds on heavenly things. But our mind doesn’t get there because of our hearts. He went on to say something very personal to me, “Our heart’s desire has to be for people in a foreign land.” Then he went on to talk a little about his recent trip to India. As I type this, my heart aches. There are a few people I know in Asia who are my heroes. I know these brothers and their dedication and sacrifice to see their people come to the Lord. I agree with the pastor that sometimes it is harder to live here in the US and keep the things that are on our Lord’s heart first.

Verses 3-4–we died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. And we shall appear with Him in glory. How can this be? The only way, is that we are in Christ. When God looks at us, all He sees is Christ! How amazing is that!! We have a great Savior!

Finally, Verses 5-11–we have a responsibility. Paul says, “Put to Death.” Then he names some things we need to put to death. The pastor mentioned greed in particular. I must confess that caught me by surprise that he would key in on that. The reason is that for the past few weeks, I have been dealing with that very thing. Lately, I seem to have more money in my possession than I have ever had before. Instead of being a blessing, it has been a challenge to me not put my trust in it, and to keep my trust on the Lord. Yesterday, I also learned that I have been loose is a couple areas regarding the use of money that I need to make right. Lord willing, I will take care of that tomorrow.

Overall, it has been an interesting day. Since the very first time I attended Stonepoint back in October of last year, there have been days similar today where seems to be a divine appointment. Our director here at GFA once said, sometimes a message isn’t for the entire congregation or gathering. Sometimes it is just for the one. I wonder if today was one of those days.

Character Building

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

To help me gather a better understanding of the book of Colossians that we have been going over, I have been trying do some studying in it. I have been re-reading thinking about the chapters little by little and reading a commentary called Be Complete written by Warren Wiersbe. I have found some of Wiersbe’s “Be” series books to be a good and practical help to me.

Today I was reading about Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-12. Specifically, what I want to write about today are verses 11-12: “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

I have heard several times that God is extremely interested in developing the character of His people. Wisdom, conduct and even service are of little value in our lives as Christ followers apart from personal character. In the above passage, Paul mentions four signs or characteristics that we are to be maturing in our walks with the Lord. They are all what we would call character development.

The first is, steadfastness or longsuffering. It means self-restraint and has to do with how we relate to people. It has been jokingly said that the Christian life would be great, if it weren’t for people. How do we get along with our fellow Christians, our spouses and the world of people around us? How do we deal with people who oppose us? The perfect example of this of course, is Jesus himself. Look at His dealings with Peter and the other disciples. How often they “just didn’t get it.” Yet Jesus never gave up. While we won’t handle this as well a Jesus, it is something we need to working toward.

The second is patience. While longsuffering has to do with people, patience has to do with circumstances. Patience is described as “endurance when circumstances are difficult.” Patience is a character trait that we Christ followers need above all else. We are to rejoice patiently in our tribulations as scripture says. One of our problems as Christ followers is that we tend to quit when things get too difficult.

Third, joyfulness. Is it possible to endure difficult times and people with joy? It is possible but not apart from the Holy Spirit. The good thing about joy is that it is not bound by circumstances or people in our lives. A joyful spirit cannot be worked up by our flesh. Joy can only come from the Holy Spirit working in us.

Fourth, thankfulness. We Christians should be thankful. Scripture says be thankful in ALL things. Is that even possible? I think it all depends on our walk with our Lord. We can confess our trust in the Lord in our circumstances come into our lives or we can go the other way and become complaining and bitter. It is a choice we make.

Longsuffering, patience, joy, thankfulness. Paul prayed that the Colossians would grow in all these things. These character traits do not come naturally to us. They are traits that can only flow our of our inner spirit. They are fruit of the Spirit of God in our lives (Gal 5:22-23) The really great news in this is that we already possess all we need to grow in these. Colossians 2:10 is a great verse that we need to memorize and live. “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” As pastor Brandon says, we make it so hard. I wonder at times what would happen if we actually prayed prayers for one another like are found in Colossians 1:9-12 and other places in scripture. By allowing the Spirit to changes us internally, we as a body will grow in our love and service to one another and to the world around us.