More Of His Fullness

Posted: August 24, 2020 in Meditations

 

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,humbleness of mind,meekness, longsuffering….”

Colossians 3:12

Another morning of heartbreak, images of fiery riots dominate the news feed of my phone. Hate and vengeance raged in the name of justice for the oppressed. A dystopian voice cries out, “Give us what is rightfully ours or we will burn this nation to the ground.” How do we respond to legitimate grievance? Do we shun the grievance because thugs destroy and loot? How do we respond as Christians? What voice do we bring to the discourse? I, for one, need wisdom beyond myself. I search the Scripture. I seek the heart of God in prayer. I listen for the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. I read the words of proven saints, I listen to the learned dialogue on podcasts. My overarching prayer, “Almighty God, speak to my heart, grip my being tight within your holy shroud. Discipline my tongue. Silence any speech of fallen ignorance. Others must see Jesus in me.”

Every morning, I click on Todd Trotter’s Twitter feed. A godly businessman from Milwaukee, I can count on Todd to speak into my life with Scripture, a great quote, or a pithy personal observation. Today he posted Colossians 3:12. That Scripture summarized much of my reading yesterday. Wise saints, Gloria Gaither and Tim Keller, spoke life into mine. Both reinforced fundamental truths for me. One, I am a sinner saved by grace, recreated to fulfill my divine purposes through Jesus Christ my Lord. Two, I am not my own. My life, my stuff — none of it belongs to me. I am a steward of God’s life, God’s stuff,  a remarkable truth in a culture of individualism. Three, I no longer exercise power to serve my ends. No, power now consecrates itself to the service of others in the name of Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The “new man”, raised up when I surrendered all to God, is now working itself out in me through the faithful diligence of my senior partner, the Holy Spirit. I ask him every morning, “Make me more like Jesus.” Make no mistake, I fail, I blow it, pure and simple. I possess defects in temperament. I am passionate, an attribute in the Spirit, a catastrophe in the flesh. But I refuse to define myself by my failures. I define myself by grace, by the new man God shapes and employs as an instrument of service to others. My identity rests in Christ.

So, where do I begin? How do I respond to a chaotic angry world? The answer for me, today, rests in Colossians 3:12. Phil, show mercy. Demonstrate kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Don’t turn your back on those who hurt you. Forgive them as Jesus Christ forgave you. Above all else, love others with the love of Jesus. Love the unlovely when others cease to care. Never forget, in the end, Christ is all that matters.

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