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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 

Saturday-Clothing and Bearing

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.


Colossians 3:12,13


Everybody’s looking for the big one thing. That one magical thing that’s going to change everything. The one winning mega lottery ticket. The one shot that wins the game. The one word that will make that certain someone love you. That one word answer that makes everything right.


When I was in sales, everyone was looking for the one strategy that guaranteed getting the deal. The one presentation that would convince anyone that you were the only person to buy from. The technique that not just separated you from the crowd but put you head and shoulders above the rest. Made you the hands-down favorite to get the contract.


But unfortunately, there’s very few things in life that are so simple. Where changing one thing, making one adjustment will make everything work out fine. But not just improve things to ok, but where success is guaranteed. You’ll come in first place. You’ll win the game and be interviewed on television. And your face will be on the cover of every publication in the land.


Paul agrees with this when it comes to changing their life. He doesn’t give them some simple, fortune cookie answers to changing their lives from the mess they’re in. Instead, he gives them two big ideas: clothing and bearing.


  • Clothing. This is where they take off their old selves and put on something entirely new. They become someone different and better. The new clothing they are to put on covers everything. Every part of their lives. But this isn’t some fashion show where they keep changing outfits. This is taking off their old lives and the one-time putting on something entirely new. Way different from the way they had been living in the past. The Colossians were commanded to clothe themselves, to cover every part of their lives with these five ways of treating people. Paul doesn’t give them a five-point checklist of truths about God. He doesn’t give them five pillars of truth to learn. He doesn’t even preach a five point sermon. No, he tells them five ways to reflect the love they’ve experienced from God in Christ. And they’re not just to think about these things. They’re not to play with them. Dabble in them. Treat them like some hobby that they can pick up and put down whenever they want. These are not some kind of part-time job that you picked up to fill some free time in your schedule. Now, while this radical clothing is put on one time, they didn’t immediately get all the details how to do it all. While God gave them the new cloths and his power to live like this, it was still learned over time. Experience led to learning and growth for all five of these ways of treating people.

  • Bearing. This is the ongoing process of living with people. Here’s another shocker, people make mistakes. Not just make little mistakes either. They’re destined to make some gigantic humdingers. And not just once. Oh no. They’re going to make them over and over. Again and again. I’m afraid to tell you this. I’m afraid it’ll make you throw this away and never read anything I write again. It will make you give me a terrible rating on every survey. I’m one of those people. I’m the kind of guy that over and over makes the same kind of mistakes. Commits the same offense against the same people. I know, shocking. But this idea of bearing and forgiving one another shouldn’t be all that big a deal. After all, isn’t that exactly what God does with and for us? Over and over, again and again we turn away from the one who loves us and we treat them shamefully. We say the most awful things to and about God. What does God do knowing that we’re going to fail him? Hurt him? He sends Jesus to pay for all our sins and he remembers them no more[1]. And when we come back, admitting our sins and not being worthy to be his child, he runs to us[2]. He runs towards us. He hugs us


Paul’s using all his power and authority by ordering them to clothe themselves right now. To stop and put on a new way of living. They’re to immediately start treating everyone else the way God treats them. As we look out at this crazy, mixed-up world, this is God’s solution to the mess we’re in. Not some political party becoming so powerful that it can do whatever it wants. Not some technology that will give us all the clean and free energy to change the world we live in.


No, the only solution isn’t a what. It’s a who. And that who is Jesus. The only one who claimed to be God come down for the purpose of paying for our deadly debt. To make us his children now and forever. To remake us into the kind of person he originally made us to be. With new clothing and a new way to bear each other.  Now, that’s a life worth living.


Noodling Questions


  • What area of life is easier to take part of life off and put on another? Why?

  • Why are we willing to be more flexible with some people and not others?

  • How does Jesus’ forgiveness make this easier?

[1] Hebrews 8:12

[2] Luke 17:20

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