FIVE INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS IN GOD’S MISSION”
In Colossians 3:12, God tells us that we are to adopt and integrate five specific, spiritual disciplines and character traits which will enhance our walk with Him and give us all we need to be successful in fulfilling God’s mission on our (YOUR) life!
OPENING: GOD opens this verse with the premise—by saying “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,…”. Let’s pause before we jump in on these four ingredients and absorb what Paul is saying in and through the words, “PUT ON”. To put on is an action, a verb of sorts to take action in light of what he is about to tell us through God’s inspired Word. By the “elect of God” Paul is not speaking some random group God chose out of the random blue. God calls all people to salvation; those who accept are the elect from the foundation of the world (compare to Ephesians 1:3-14). They in turn become God’s own special people. As God is HOLY (set aside), we who are “BELOVED” by God. As such you and I are to “PUT ON” His characteristics God provides us in Col 3:12.
One last thing before we jump in and look at these four ingredients, characteristics or disciplines. It’s important to understand that EXPLOITATION of others was the old way of life for the carnal person before being saved by the blood of Christ. The new, the new person or the new way must be characterized by CONCERN of others. As was during Paul’s time, I am concerned myself by what I see in the church today with people exploiting others, using others, and in some cases, exploring God’s Word for personal gain. Let’s be careful not to tamper with the All Mighty God of the universe. That is unwise. Let’s jump right in with these four simple disciplines that God calls us to “PUT ON” as disciplined characteristics in our every day life.
1) FIRST: God calls us to have “compassionate hearts.” Let this sink in and apply this in our life as we see others stumble. Are we secretly happy they fell or are we seeking to come besides them and restore them as fellow believers in Christ? If they are not a believer, do we see this as some kind of justice or as an opportunity to share Christ with them? Compassion leads to our second discipline, which is kindness.
2) SECOND: God calls us to adopt “kindness” as our default mode of thinking and acting. We live in a stressful world. Are we edgy, grumpy, or downright mean at times as the world’s pressures and stresses grind us into having nothing left to give out. Let’s make sure to go to God in prayer, pause, recharge. Kindness doesn’t cause us a thing so lets dispense it generously. When we do this, we will see a natural progression to number three, which is humility.
- THIRD: God calls us to humility, or to be humble. When times of stress come about, we may find ourselves being treated unfairly. As the pressures of life grind us down and we learn to be kind, we will naturally start to become more humble. WHY? Because we begin to see God working through us in difficult times. In and through this process, we are humbled by God’s provision, grace in and on our life, and the fact that He uses us despite our flaws. Humility naturally leads to meekness.
- FOURTH: God calls us to meekness or to be “Meek”. Meekness is an attitude or quality of heart, whereby a person is willing to accept and submit to God and His ways, and in many cases to other fellow human beings. It’s important to note that with God, we are called to submit 100% of the time without any reserve. Submitting meekly to other sinful, flawed human beings, albeit in the church, in government or the corporate world should be done carefully, with wisdom and discernment. There are times when meekness is not to be extended to humans in light of their sinful actions and governance. To do so may entail our acting sinfully against God’s ways. We must pray for God’s wisdom and know His Word which will provide us the discernment, knowledge no wisdom as to dispensing meekness. And this leads to the very last attribute Paul leaves us with which is patients.
- FIFTH and LASTLY: God calls us to patience, or to be “Patient”. As we put on numbers one through four (Compassionate, Kindness, Humility, and Meekness), we must be patient in knowing that it takes time for God to perfect these four characteristics in our life. In proper context as to what Paul is saying, we must be patient with others in this world and patient in waiting for God’s timing as opposed to our own. If we fail to be patient with others, we won’t wait around. If we don’t wait around, we won’t allow ourselves to be compassionate with others. As a result, we won’t be kind, humble and meek. And as a result, we will miss the blessings of God.
- Paul tells us this in Col. 3:12 “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,…” As we start the new day, lets think and pray over this short but packed verse and seek God’s face in living out Col, 3:12 in our lives. (Copyright 2023)