Monday, February 28, 2011

Colossians 3

If you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above...put to death what is earthly in you - put off  the old self with its practices.  Put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge...put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving...put on love which is the thread which sews all of these pieces together for your new garment...let Christ's peace rule in your heart and be grateful.  Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, wisely teaching and admonishing each other, singing...Whatever you do, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus...Work heartily, as for the Lord...You are serving the Lord Christ.

These words issued personal challenges which swept over me like tidal waves slamming relentlessly in to the shore of my self. 

I can choose where my mind is directed; up above or down low or somewhere in between.  I must choose.  Daily choose.

I can put to death the earthly things...I must order the firing squad.  Even as Abraham was the one required to lift the knife against his Isaac; I, too, must personally handle the kill on the targets God directs me to.  Only I have the authority to execute this particular old person.

Old practices are familiar and comfortable; they have been my  go-to habits for a long time.  I must be very intentional and focused on changing those pathways and reactions.  I must learn the new-familiar...I must allow myself to become (the old person) I shudder at that opportunity...I must be willing to become lost...but that is okay, as only one of us (the old one or the new) can make it out alive each time we take that distant walk to the region of Moriah.

Renewed wisdom means the old smarts aren't smart.   Reasonable intellectualism is neither reasonable nor intelligent in the new life.

If love is not the binding seam on the new qualities, then they won't stay in place or dress me properly.

Christ's peace must rule in my heart...not as a co-regent; but as the Monarch...and be grateful for that.

The Word of Christ must be allowed to flourish abundantly in me...not be starved to death or treated like a hermit.  The Word of Christ should be the most densely populated spiritual suburb in my inner world...not a ghost town or a seasonal vacation spot.  Dwell richly...thrive in the luxury of kindness, humility, compassion, forgiveness and patience...without the roots or rottings of any sins left over from the previous tenants.

Remember that whatever I am doing...singing, serving, teaching, encouraging, etc., to do it as if I am doing for the Lord,  in His Name and I am serving Him as I do it.  Because, He may have a temporary recipient of my "doings;" but He is without a doubt the actual Recipient.  And as I bear His Name, I am doing it in His Name.  And, if the initial premise is true, that I have been raised up in Christ, then I am serving Him with my life.  Especially when I am confronted with the qualities of the old self in others, I must be very committed to serving Him faithfully.

Did that last trip to the pharmacy truly demonstrate a Christ-visit to the pharmacy-tech?  I must strive for more than just not killing someone (not really; but I was frustrated beyond my normal, operating level).  When I left, could the girl behind the counter tell a difference between me and the next person?  

God, please help me do it all for You and Your Great Name.  Particularly when You direct me to take gather up "my Isaac" and go to the mountains in the region of Moriah.

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