Do you agree with the statement that “words are powerful?”
I learned growing up that my parents’ words meant something. As the oldest of four, I discovered that I needed to pay attention to the “rules of the house.” My parents were serious about things like, “We respect one another,” “Never raise your voice to mom (or dad),” “Do your chores,” and, “love one another.” Words meant something in our home. Words had meaning. Words had power. Words had consequences.
Barbara and I are enjoying a book by James Bryan Smith, entitled, “Hidden in Christ: Living as God’s Beloved.” It is a 2013 Formatio book from InterVarsity Press that follows the rich tradition of the church in the journey of spiritual formation. These kinds of books have contributed to my personal transformation by Jesus and helped conform me to His image.
Read Colossians 3:1-17.
Barbara and I have been enriched by reading, studying, and memorizing the third chapter of Colossians. We have gained a deeper sense of the meaning of each word. Each of the thirty short chapters in Smith’s book brings out the main truth of one word or phrase in this rich passage. This book continues to be a rich resource for understanding what it means to have our lives hidden in Christ. We have experienced a deeper gratitude to God and a more solid confidence in who we are in Christ.
Here is a sampling of the thirty words covered in the chapters:
Raised, With, Seated, Set, Hidden, Life, Revealed, You, Mortify, Bodies, Desires, Wrath, Walk, Once, Mouth, Clothes, Knowledge, All, Chosen, Beloved, Bear, Forgive, Love, Peace, Thankful, Word, Teach, Sing, Whatever, and Name.
A few questions to ponder:
Where did Paul tell the Colossians to turn their attention and focus to (v 1-2)?
What seemed to be the security base for the Colossians (v 3)?
Why should followers of Jesus look forward to His return (v 4)?
What must die (v 5)?
Why is God’s wrath coming (v 5-6)?
What had the Colossians taken off (v 7-9)?
What had they put on (v 10)?
What distinctions are removed because of Jesus (v 11)?
What are followers of Jesus called to clothe themselves with (v 12-17)? Why?
I believe words do matter. I have come to love the words in Colossians 3 because they have begun to yield in me a deeper understanding of what it means to be an apprentice of Jesus.
If you spend some time in chapter three of Colossians, you will be reminded of God’s expectations of holy living. Which of God’s rules (or holy habits) do you need to apply to your life this week? What earthly clothing do you need to get rid of? How should God’s people be clothed? Why should how you are dressed affect the way you live your daily life as a believer in Christ?
Grow devotionally. Use Colossians 3:1-17 as a companion to live as God’s Beloved.
Love is a verb,
©2020 by Mike Olejarz