Live the Message
Colossians 3:1–3, 12–17
U.S. church membership has fallen below the majority of the population for the first time in Gallup poll history. Furthermore, the number of people who claim no faith is rising at an alarming rate. Our nation needs Christ. What must be done?
Seek the things of Christ, not the things of the world. (1–3)
Even though we are in the world, we must not be of the world. Paul challenges the Colossians — and us — to place our thoughts and affections on Christ, not the things of the world. Then, as today, activities, materialism and worries of life clamored for attention.
As Christians, we died and are raised with Christ; we are called to think differently. Our lives are hidden in Him; therefore, the things of this earth are becoming increasingly dim. When we love earthly things more than the things of God, our witness is hindered. Instead, we are to focus our resources, time and energy on furthering God’s kingdom. Brothers and sisters, seek the things of Christ. In the mystery of God, you are in Him right now. Look to Him and live this message.
Put on and wear the character of Christ. (12–15)
Paul admonishes us to put on new “garments” appropriate to our position in Jesus. Believers are to put on five things: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. In other words, we are to put on the character of Christ, which results in a deep sensitivity to the needs and hurts of others. We are to be patient and forgiving. Holding everything together is the garment of love. The love of Christ is paramount in building unity and peace. Just as the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) influenced the world in Paul’s day, so must the Pax Christiana rule in the Church and impact our world today. The watching world is put off by pride, self-centeredness, harshness and impatience. Instead, we are to wear Christ’s character. After all, Christian love and unity draw people to the sweetness of knowing Christ.
Let everything in your life point to Christ with gratitude and thanks. (16–17)
As Christ’s message dwells in you richly, He imparts wisdom resulting in joyous gratitude. Your joy and thankfulness in song can teach doctrine, touch emotions and attract those seeking the Father. You desire for everything you do to be done in the name of the Lord.
The epicenter of Christian living is grateful living. Your entire life points to Jesus and the thrill of knowing Him. Whether it be at work, doing laundry, enjoying a vacation, feeding the homeless, visiting with friends, etc., it is done with gratitude and in the name of Christ. Our nation and the world need the Savior. How can you be a witness for Him? Seek Him, put on His character and let everything in your life point to our Lord and Savior. To God alone be all the glory!
By Rob Jackson, Ph.D.
Jackson has served in a variety of ministry roles, including pastor and state missionary.