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“God’s Customized Wardrobe” Pt 4:

The Bible says, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you ALIVE WITH CHRIST.  He forgave us ALL our sins…” (Col. 2:13).  The greatest experience and best thrill ever, is knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that ALL your sins are forgiven!  We’re born again.  We have a new nature.  Because our mind is now leaning toward God our desires are different.  Because our desires are different, soon our behavior (actions) will become different.  THAT’S BECAUSE WE ARE DIFFERENT.  The Holy Spirit is changing (transforming) us from the inside out.

 

Paul says in Colossians 3, “Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature – you USED to walk in these ways, but now you rid yourselves of …(see vs 7-9).  Then he says, “since you have TAKEN OFF your old self with its practices (sinful nature) and have put on the NEW SELF, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (vs 10).  Let’s simplify this.  When you go for a new pair of pants or dress, you take what you like to the dressing room.  The old garment is taken off and the one is put on.  Does it fit right?  Feel right?  Do you look good in it?  All these things matter. Right?  It’s normal to even ask a friend or relative (salesperson even), “What do you think?”

 

Paul teaches us there are things in our old life that need to go.  These are things that are offensive to Christ and very likely to most people.  These old things like anger, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, sexual immoralities and other things (see Col. 3: 8-9) no longer fit.  It’s time for a new outfit and God has a wardrobe that will fit, it will become very comfortable (with practice – see yesterday’s devotional), you’ll have an inner peace and you’ll look awesome.  Your loved ones and friends will be thrilled.  Are ya ready?  Here we go, “Take off the old (self) and CLOTHE yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (3:12-13).

 

Paul then ties everything together.  He says, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (v. 13).  My friend, don’t discouraged if (when) you mess up.  The Holy Spirit will let you know when you stray off track.  Get back on and stay committed, be disciplined in Bible reading and prayer.  You were reminded this week, to do anything well requires PRACTICE – PRACTICE – PRACTICE.  Living the Christian life will become a lifestyle, but effort is required.  You aren’t in the battle alone, God is on your side.  If this change were impossible, God never would have insisted otherwise.  Is it time for a new wardrobe?  You’ll love the NEW YOU!!

 

Pastor Carnes