I have a vivid memory of Mr Bean trying to put on his swimming trunks at the beach, the episode was hilarious as he wrestled his trunks on over the top of his trousers and then tried to take the trousers off with his trunks still on! Not the best way to go about things but he was concerned that the guy in the deck chair might observe him in a state of undress. The guy in the deck chair turned out to be blind and just as the swimming trunks were in place, deck chair man walked off using a white stick – much to the frustration of Mr Bean.
Colossians 3:1-25 speaks about taking off some clothes that we all possess and being kitted out in a new wardrobe. It’s best to be completely rid of the old clothes if we want to enjoy the new ones. We are urged to cast off things like: sexual immorality, obscene talk from our mouths, covetousness, lies, evil desires etc. The incredible thing about being a Christian is that when God instructs us to surrender or endure something, He always promises to replace it with something better. (see 2 Corinthians 4:17 Galatians 5:22) When God takes from us our obscene words He does not leave us with nothing to say. He replaces these words with thankfulness, wisdom , psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (vs 16).
The Bible affirms the truth that Jesus alone is perfect, the rest of us are not and therefore we need Him to shape us and mould us into His likeness. We all are a work in progress and this needs to impact how we view: ourselves (humility & meekness vs 8) and others (patience vs 12, bearing with one another, forgiving each other vs 13). The perfect image of God which our first parents (Adam & Eve) had has been distorted by sin. However when we become Christians, God the Holy Spirit enters our life and goes to work in us to recreate that perfect image. I saw these words on a wall in North Belfast recently as I met with Dario Leal (a church planter in the Cliftonville area.) For me these words are a great description of discipleship. God is loading a new mural, a new picture, a new image in the hearts and lives of the people who belong to Him. Where there used to be images of division and hatred – God is at work to load a new picture within us so that we more accurately represent Him. He wants to restore His image within us.
At Carnmoney on Sunday we were considering how our words reveal our character and God’s Word reveals His character (listen here) which is why Paul says ‘let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’. (vs 16)
Take some time to let the words of Colossians 3 dwell in you today and transform your character.
VERSE TO REMEMBER
“put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:10