Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:16-18 (NLT)
This week we have thought about Paul’s list of those characteristics with which a well-dressed follower of Jesus Christ gets dressed every day – peace, thankfulness and gratitude, love – all part of a Christ-like character.
This morning we connect the dots of that string of character traits.
Paul said we should let the Word of Christ fill us. The KJV says Christ’s word should dwell in us richly; the picture is that of setting up residence. This means we should allow the Word of God free reign in addressing every aspect of the way we live our lives.
Bible study is so important – the Bible is the Owner’s Manual of human existence.
Having that Word “dwell richly” is to take it in, study, meditate on it and then put it into practice in our lives. The Psalmist put it this way
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11 (KJV)
Now, those are the foundational garments, love, peace, gratitude and wisdom. Those are the transformational basic characteristics of the Christian life. When you have those they will create the…
The Outer Garments
The outer garments of life are what others see and experience. When the inner garments are love, peace, gratitude and wisdom they will make the outer garments particularly attractive. What are they?
There is EMPATHY – so you can feel what your brother feels.
There is HARMONY – so you can strengthen your brother or sister, while she strengthens you.
There is MINISTRY so you can glorify God with all of your life.
This is the Christian version of “Dress for Success”. Success in the world is measured by how you look; it is “the look” or styles that people see which really counts – look good at any cost!
The Lord measures success by what He sees on the inside…the inner garments of character
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)
What does the Lord see when he looks at YOUR heart?
Does he see compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, mercy? Does he see all these foundational garments held together neatly by the character girdle of love?
If so, you’ve chosen to lay aside the world’s rags and you’re ready for a robe!