Bearing graciously with one another

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12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.  Colossians 3:12-13 AMP

We are God’s chosen people.  We are called to be holy because He is holy.  As we live our lives for Him each day our lives become a vessel of his glory.  Our lives have been set apart for His purposes.  As we walk with Christ we are sanctified on a daily basis.

We are called to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Simply put we are told to put on the character and nature of Christ.  As we seek the Lord and abide in Him our hearts are transformed.  Our hearts become one with His and we begin to see the world around us as Jesus sees it.

We are called to bear graciously with one another.  We live in a world of broken people and even in the body of Christ we are a people in process.  We have people who are at all different growth and maturity levels and because of this we must bear with one another.  God because of His grace and His mercy has poured out His love upon us and therefore we must pour out our love on one another.

We must be willing to forgive one another.  One of the greatest weapons of the enemy is offense.  He has used offense to create divisions in families, marriages, and churches.  But if we are to truly have the heart of Christ it is a heart of forgiveness.  It was Jesus who cried upon the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” as He hung upon the cross.  Let us love one another and be the sons and daughters God has called us to be.

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Colossians 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12-14

We are called to forgive each other as the Lord has forgiven us.  We have no reason to hold bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts.  The Lord chose to forgive us and He saved us by His grace.  If we are truly in relationship with the Lord then the character of Christ should be produce in our hearts and lives and if this is true then we should be willing to forgive without question.

Everything the apostle Paul mentions in verse twelve is simply a description of the character and nature of Christ.  As we walk with the Lord each day we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We are not transformed by our own power or strength, but we are transformed supernaturally by the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

But above all else we must do all things in love.  For when we do all things in love we will experience the unity and agreement that can only be found when God holds all things together.  We are told in 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen that these three remain faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  True love is only possible through Jesus Christ.  As we grow in Him and come to know Him in greater ways, His love and His grace fill every area of our lives.

Colossians 2:6-7

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,and overflowing with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:6-7

We are called to live in Christ.  This means day by day we walk with Him and we live in Him.  It is not a one time decision but a daily decision to follow Christ.  We have temptations and challenges we face on a daily basis, but we are called to forsake all things for Jesus Christ.

We are rooted and built up in Jesus Christ.  He is our unshakable foundation.  As we grow in Him each day as we study His word and spend time in prayer, our roots grow deeper and deeper in Him.  We move from being a mere sapling to becoming a mighty oak in Christ.

We are strengthened in faith.  It is faith that is our shield in the armor of God.  As we come to know and understand who we are in Christ and all that Jesus has accomplished for us we live in thankfulness and contentment on a daily basis.  We see the world as the Lord sees all things and our hearts and minds become one with Him.  The more we grow in Him the more we are rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus.  We become unshakable because He is unshakable.

Colossians 1:9: We have not stopped praying for you

For this reason, since the day we heard about it, we have not stopped praying for you, asking [specifically] that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [with insight into His purposes], and in understanding [of spiritual things],

Colossians 1:9 AMP

This should not only be something we pray over our own lives every day, but something we pray over one another each and every day.  It is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth.  He is the one who releases revelation, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding into our lives.

It is through prayer that the power and the plans of God are released into the earth.  The kingdom of God is advanced on the earth day through the lives and hearts of people.  God chooses to use our prayers to accomplish His plans and His purposes.  He has so created the world that when He desires to move in the earth He will move on a the heart of someone who will be faithful to pray and will lead them to pray forth His will.

There is much that happens when we pray that we don’t fully understand.  But time and time again the Lord tells us in His word to continually seek Him in prayer.  He reveals who He is and how He works through His word and what we find in scripture is that every great move of God and every advancement of His kingdom simply came as a result of persistent unceasing prayer.

May we seek Him daily for wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and revelation.  May we pray for one another and lift one another up in prayer.  As we faithfully seek the Lord, He will be faithful to answer according to His will.  We must remember that God’s plans and purposes are not based upon our time table, but based upon His sovereign will.  He does all things according to His will and His plans and purposes.

Colossians 4:5-6

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive[a] so that you will have the right response for everyone.  Colossians 4:5-6

We are called to live wisely among those who are not believers.  We live in dark and deceptive times.  Day by day people become more and more desensitized by the wickedness of Satan.  Many have no belief or knowledge in the Lord.

When the anti-Christ comes on the scene it will be very easy to deceive those left on the earth.  Those today who walk intimately with Jesus Christ will have their hearts and minds protected from the deceptions of the enemy.  When the truth of God’s word is rejected the only thing people are left with is darkness and deception.

May our conversation glorify and honor the name of Jesus.  May we understand that every area of our lives is an act of worship.  We are called to be a living sacrifice.  As we grow in Christ our lives will naturally reflect the character and nature of who Jesus is.  The Lord desires to restore and refine every area of our lives.  When we place our lives in His hands, He will bring His plans and purposes to pass in our lives by His will.

Colossians 1:25-29

25 Of this church I [ai]was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might [aj]fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His [ak]saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man [al]with all wisdom, so that we may present every man [am]complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His [an]power, which [ao]mightily works within me.  Colossians 1:25-29

The apostle Paul was chosen by the Lord to be an apostle.  It was by the grace and mercy of God that Paul was called to preach.  It was by the grace and mercy of God that Paul moved in the power and might of the Holy Spirit.  The apostle Paul was burdened to preach the gospel.  He didn’t preach the gospel for fame or fortune.  He preached the gospel because he understood what Jesus had done at Calvary and he understood how lost people truly were.

The truth of the gospel was hidden in ages past.  When we study the Old Testament everything points to Jesus Christ.  But the truth of who Jesus was was hidden to the saints of old.  Even when Jesus walked the earth many rejected Him, but this was God’s plan of salvation from the beginning.  But the amazing truth of who Jesus is has been revealed to us as the body of Christ.  It is the truth that sets us free.

The riches of the gentiles is simply the offer of salvation.  Through Jesus the way of salvation has been open to all people.  Anyone is able to come to Christ and the offer of salvation goes forth throughout the earth.  The Holy Spirit is continually drawing hearts and minds and those who are willing to humble themselves shall be saved.

Being complete in Christ simply speaks of maturity.  As we study God’s word and rightly divide truth on a daily basis we are transformed from the inside out.  As we walk with Christ each day we are matured and we will not have fully arrived until we stand with the Lord in His kingdom someday.  As long as we are on this earth we are continually under construction.  The more we surrender our will to the Lord and the more we surrender our lives the more we simply mature in Christ.

The apostle Paul knew where the power that was at work in Him came from.  It was the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  It was the Holy Spirit who empowered the apostle Paul to take the gospel throughout the world.  We today have access to this same power.  We today who are in Christ have all that we need because it is the Holy Spirit alone who empowers us.  We cannot be ignorant of all that the Holy Spirit has for us, but we must simply open our hearts and receive.