Recently we purchased “The Book of Awesome“. It is a compilation of things that are awesome. Like, isn’t it awesome when you pick the fastest moving line at the grocery store check out? Or isn’t is awesome when you correctly guess if the door is push or pull? It is a really simple idea but we all have these experiences. We have had a lot of “isn’t it awesome” moments this year. Like driving through the Rocky Mountains on a beautiful clear day. Or when a student in the public school asks if we are missionaries in front of the whole class. Those are awesome moments that God gives for his glory.
We have done so much traveling over the course of our time that it may seem that we would not be able to find consistent spiritual nourishment. The most amazing thing is that in all of the places that we have been there has been one constant and meaningful message for us. The message is this: we not only need to let God work inside us but we that we also need to clothe ourselves with Christ on the outside. This may seem to be a pretty elementary statement but it has been a profound thought for our time here in Canada.
Colossians 3:5-14 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion. kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
We know that people have probably heard this passage so many times that it really does not mean anything. Just what do these things look like? Are these qualities that are desirable? Do we even care? God is in our hearts so why must we do anything? Some people may see this passage as a negative one because it tells Christians to “put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature. It is so much easier to ignore that part of the rules for holy living. The fact of the matter is that God does work in our hearts but if we do not clothe ourselves with those qualities listed we tend to defeat the work being done in our heart. Our outward appearance looks just like the world then and the Christian witness is held suspect.
Romans 13:8-14 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
This passage is very similar to the one in Colossians but the difference is that it tells us what will happen when we put on the clothes. We love our neighbour as ourself. Imagine what this looks like. Churches helping those in the community that need help. Christians talking to their neighbours and caring about what they have to say. Youth talking about Christ in their schools. A co-worker coming to Christ because they see a difference in that person they work with.
Feel free to share with us how you or your church are making a difference for Christ in your community.