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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 

Thursday-Who's in Charge?

 

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

 

Colossians 2:11,12

 

It seems like there’s no balance anymore. Think about the last time you and some friends made plans to have dinner together. Coming to agreement about the date and time was easy, but then came the decision about the where.

 

This started the great debate. Which kind of food? Which restaurant was best? Who had better service? Was the parking convenient? Were the servers friendly? Did they have good deserts?

 

Option after option. Choice after choice was talked about. The discussion went round and round. There was lots of information, but no one wanted to make a decision. This went on and on until you just wanted to take a bite out of your shoe because you were so hungry. No one wanted to appear that they’re overstepping their place. They didn’t want to look like they were pushing the group in a particular direction. After all, everyone’s opinion is important.

 

But eventually, we do have to make choices in life. Whether it’s which restaurant to eat at, or just stay home and eat leftovers. Whether it’s which store to go to or which lane to drive in.

 

Yes, life is filled with lots of little decisions. More than there’s time and space to list here. But there are some decisions that impact the rest of your life. And the biggest one is what we’re going to do with God.

 

That’s what Paul’s talking about here. When we come to the point of receiving Christ’s death as payment for all our sin, we also make him the Lord of our lives. And just so we’re clear, you can’t have one without the other. He’s a package deal. Forgiveness comes alone with his being Lord.

 

When that happens, God then does a marvelous thing. He performs spiritual surgery and cuts us off from out old lives. The connection with our old way of life is broken. It has no more power over us. That is, unless we let it have that power.

 

This is the decision we come to on a daily basis. Will we let ourselves run our lives like we were doing before? Or are we going to let Jesus be who he is? Lord of heaven and earth. And Lord of our lives. In Jesus, the old self-ruled life was put off and away. It was taken off like an old, dirty, torn outfit and thrown in the trash. We then put on a whole new set of clothes. A new set of clean clothes that Jesus paid for.

 

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

 

Romans 13:14

 

Gone is the smell of the old clothes that held us back from God. From the life he wanted for us. And now we’ve got this new outfit that’s fresh and clean. God provided for it. God paid for it. God washed it.

 

With this great gift from God in Christ, how can we respond in anything other than wonder, love and praise[1]. How could we want to do anything but to lovingly respond and obey anything and everything that pleases him?

 

We have rain barrels that store water from the roof when it rains. Mary Ann uses this water for her plants and vegetables. Sometimes, after a week of no rain, the barrels are empty. When I see the empty rain barrels, I have a choice.

 

Why do I do this? Is it in hopes of getting something from her? Is it some kind of bribe? Is it to make her feel guilty and to let me play golf? If it was any of these, or anything else that points to me, then it’s just selfishness.

 

No, it’s out of love for her that I refill them with water from our well. If it can change and energize me to do something like this for Mary Ann, it must be the most powerful thing in the universe. God’s love changes us.

 

When he shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in him be found:

dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne

 

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand: all other ground is sinking sand;

all other ground is sinking sand[2].

 

God’s love put’s a new set of clothes on us. He changes us on the inside, and that must show itself on the outside. He empowers us to stop living only for ourselves and for him. And this for him kind of life makes us want to help and serve people. When he’s in charge, everything changes. Everything becomes new. We become new people. The old has gone and the new is making its home inside us.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • How easy/hard is it for you to make a decision in a group? Explain.

  • How do you make a choice about when you’re too dirty?

  • Explain the freedom we have when we receive God’s new clothes.


[1] Love Devine, All Love Excelling, Charles Wesley, 1747

[2] My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less,  Edward Mote (1834)

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Great thoughts. These verses are some of my favorites, and I use them when I teach our church's Membership class about why baptism is so important. Baptism enables us to identify ourselves with Christ's experience, at least to some degree. Through our baptism, we are buried with him and we are resurrected with him.

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