Children of light…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Colossians 3:1-17

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.   In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.   But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 

 

 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,   bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

How shall we live?  With compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiving with love, allowing peace to rule with the word in us teaching and admonishing, singing songs and giving thanks to God, this is the picture drawn of genuine believers.  Does the description fit us?  Time to reflect and search our hearts, minds and souls.  Time to ask of ourselves, if we were the person crossing our path what would they see, experience of us? Is there light?  Is there salt?  Or do we carry the opposites of these descriptors?  Help us Lord this day to exhibit the list of traits that say we are your children, children of light not darkness.

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Knowing makes the difference…

Romans 7:7-13

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.  I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

Essentially the, sin exists whether or not I recognize it.  And without knowledge, I am condemned, yet with knowledge I am condemned but now seek a way to be free of the condemnation.  So the law brought knowledge and a desire to be free of the sin.  But the law was simply a provider of knowledge.  It could not save.  Christ’s blood is the only sacrifice that covers the sin.  Once I realize that, I am free and now I live freed from the curse of death.  And now the question comes – what does my life look like now?  Is there evidence I have acknowledged my sin, my guilt and received my salvation?  Has it made a difference in me?  It should.  I am liberated from the stress of sin.  I am free to love, seek the good of others and for others, evidence all the fruit that comes from this freedom; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.  Now my words are spoken in love and kindness.  Now I am free to not take offense.  Now I have confidence in who I am, not in myself, but in Him, for He is the reason I have this freedom.

Guilty…of kindness

Acts 4:1-12

Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,  let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The current religious leaders are disturbed…the teaching, healing, power of God continues in their temple in spite of their efforts to prevent it.  So out of touch with the Spirit of God are they; so embedded in men’s teachings and traditions, that they cannot hear God’s voice or see His love and concern.  They are actively denying ‘the stone…’ and the one who brings life.  We would do well to take heed.  Remember, “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  Saved from what?  Our selves, our closed minds, our selfish thinking and ways, our traditions based upon mankind’s teachings, the consequences of our sin.  “Many of those who heard the word (the message) believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.”  When people hear the message of God, delivered by faithful men and women of God, they respond as God gives the increase.  Let us be found faithful to spread the Word of God, let us be found empowered by the Holy Spirit, let us be found willing to be found guilty of doing acts of kindness. What could be more kind than to be a part of someone else finding that blessed salvation?