Colossians 3:12-17

Continued; It would be a horrible thing if at the end of a wedding ceremony the groom ran off with the maid of honor. It is just as horrible if the Christian runs from God to love the world and the flesh. When believers fail to act differently than the world, they violate the very purpose of their calling.

Believers are beloved of God. God’s love involves Him doing what is eternally best for us though not necessarily what we desire or what is easiest.

God’s love is a commitment to remain true to us, in all the circumstances of our life. As we begin to return God’s love we will grow in our obedience to Him and mature (come closer) in our walk with Him. Though God loves each of us just as we are, His love motivates us to respond to Him by becoming who He would have us be and doing what He would have us do.

The Bible calls believers to take decisive action. We are to put on or clothe ourselves in the virtues of God’s loving grace. Because we have “put on the new self” (v. 10), we should live according to the traits (attributes) and attitudes of the re-born person.

Jesus promised His disciples they would be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). All the following virtues are planted and grow in the new heart, or in the inner man. Compassion is the first character trait that is to mark the new man. Believers must not be indifferent to suffering, but should be concerned about people's needs. We are to live in another’s skin, feel what they are going through.

Compassion was certainly a characteristic of Jesus. He was so moved with compassion for people that He wept for them (Luke 19:41). He was so concerned about the poor that He fed them. He was so concerned about the sick that He healed them. Based on Christ's example, Christians should be the greatest helpers of the poor, hurt, blind, sick, and needy.

Kindness is closely related to compassion. It is meeting the needs of people on whom we have compassion. It is benevolence in action. Grace that seeks to touch the whole person, taking the edge off their harsh reality. Jesus used the word when he said, “My yoke is easy” (Mt. 11:30), not harsh or hard to bear.

The kind person is as concerned about his neighbor's good as he is about his own. God is kind, even to ungrateful and evil people (Luke 6:35). In fact, it was His kindness that led us to repentance. Jesus' kindness was expressed in His invitation to “take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest-for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light”.

See you again tomorrow.

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