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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Monday-Accessories

 

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Colossians 3:14

 

When it comes to getting dressed, I guess you’d say I am a “meat and potatoes” kind of dresser. Shirt. Pants. Belt. Shoes. That’s it. No rings. No jewelry. No designer or sports labels that turn me into a walking billboard. Nothing fancy. Nothing expensive. Nothing that’s going to draw attention to me. No accessories.

 

Starting in my junior year I bought and wore the Parkville high school ring. That was the first piece of jewelry I ever owned or put on. And in my plain-clothes brief hippie period I wore some beads around my neck. Those are the only accessories I had.

 

I have no idea what ever happened to them both. I wore the ring for a while but got tired of it. I think it was in the bottom of my mom’s jewelry box and got tossed out with all her costume necklaces, beads, and earrings. I think the beads broke and I didn’t want to buy a replacement.

 

That was the extent of the very limited fashion experimentation portion of my life. It was a very short and unremarkable career in the fashion industry. And today, because of my history with skin cancer, I prefer plain long-sleeved shirts and khaki long pants. Not exactly revolutionary fashion.

 

In the prior section, Paul told the Colossians that they were to once-and-for-all take off their old, dirty clothes and to be putting on a whole new outfit.

 

But the new outfit doesn’t end just with new clothes. Their new clothing is made up of seven pieces[1].

 

1.   Compassion

2.   Kindness

3.   Humility

4.   Gentleness

5.   Patience

6.   Bear with each other

7.   Forgiving one another

 

Now to me, those seven things look like plenty of clothing to me. I don’t know about you, but that much clothing would keep me busy for a long time. Those things would be a huge change for the good in my life. How about yours? But there’s more. The seven pieces in this new outfit Paul describes needs something else. Something to tie it all together. It’s missing another, unifying piece that will pull them together. That one thing that holds them all together. Makes everything more useful. More beautiful and attractive.

 

That one thing, that additional piece is love. God’s love. It’s the eagerness, energy, and expressed actions that want nothing but God’s absolute best for other people. When we love people, we’re willing to give up everything for them. Do anything for them.

 

God’s love is what holds all the seven things together. It’s what makes us want to do all seven for the benefit of others. To bless their life in a way that will make them love God more and thank God for the change in our lives.

 

And when we do all seven things with love, we’re not looking to be noticed. We’re not out to pump up our public relations campaign or get a whole lot of likes. We don’t make a short video or take selfies and blast them around the globe.

 

When we live with all seven, held together with love, something happens. Something that the world can’t understand or explain. It’s beyond their daily experience or ability to even imagine. It’s true now and was true from the beginning of the Christian church.

 

Roman Emperor Julian, one of the fiercest persecutors of Christians could not help but notice how the Christians loved. He wrote that the church was growing through their loving service to strangers. And that they cared for all the poor: Christian and non.

 

Without being too angry and hurtful, I wonder if Julian’s words could be said about us today? What are our present day “emperors”, our governmental officials, seeing and hearing from the greater Christian community? Would they be stunned with our lovingkindness towards one another? Would their jaws just drop with disbelief for our kindness and care for the poor?

 

Now I know that there are many individual Christians and organizations that are working hard to help the poor. They are to be thanked and helped with everything we can give them. God is very pleased with them. But may I suggest that they are the minority. There are many, many Christians that are not actively helping the poor. And how many are aggravating relationships through social media and politics? Those who are stirring the pot are not trying to be loving towards others in the Christian Community or the world at large.

 

And that’s what most people see. They see anger and selfishness as they try to grab for power control. When people see these things, do they sit back and see people who love because Jesus died for them? God says that love is the ultimate accessory. Is it yours?

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • List five virtues that love is over. Explain why for each.

  • What’s the most important thing for you to take off or put on for love?

  • How can we be better, more active in living out the love of God in our lives?


[1] Colossians 3:12,13

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