Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. – 1Tim 6:1 ESV
Our Lord set the greatest example when He became flesh and lived the life of a humble and obedient servant, even to death. It is up to us to demonstrate His love for us in the work place or where ever He can be seen through our actions. We glorify God when we listen to the Spirit, and it is also a “practice what you preach” way of living; it shows others that there is something extraordinary in our lives. Remember, being free in Christ has set us free from the burden of those whom we work for or take orders from.
As I was reading through today’s passage in Colossians, I couldn’t help but be reminded of an an excerpt from Jared Wilson’s exceptional book “Gospel Wakefulness”. I share it with you now, hoping that it might prove to be food for thought as you meditate on Colossians 3:18 -4:18 yourself.
“Gospel wakefulness is not truly experienced if it does not open our hearts to others. A completely inward wakefulness is false wakefulness. While what Christ has done is the grounds of the gospel’s content, what Christ commands is the reference for the gospel’s implications, and from his own mouth we know that the greatest commandment is, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself’ (Luke 10:27)
The gospel wakened church resolves to live for those outside it’s walls, to give herself away in love and on mission…… When awe of Jesus captures a church, her people become missionaries to their own communities and contexts, making this vow ‘Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.’ And there is no greater good than Christ, no firmer foundation than him.”
~ Jared Wilson ~
In Psalm 119 we find the psalmist expressing a overwhelmingly adamant desire to be tied to God’s word God’s Word in every way possible. He wants to be engulfed by it. He wants to be enraptured by it. He wants to be consumed by it. He wants to be defined by it. He never wants to stray from it. Why? Because, he finds ALL hope, worth, and joy in it. My prayer today is that we might all approach God’s Word with such inexorable zeal and intention!
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually. – Psalm 105:1-4 (ESV)
Does this describe you? Are you thankful for grace? Are you overflowing with an adoration that spills over on to those around you? Are you dwelling in his presence? Are you continually seeking His face? This is what God desires most from us. He desires not that we follow solemnly, but that our lives be filled with a holy joy. A joy that can’t be contained. A joy that is so great that we simply must share it with those around us. A joy that is completely centered on the blazing brightness and splenodor of Christ Jesus our Lord. He wants to be our everything! Yet, so often this is not where we live and the psalmist understands that. That is why he follows this soliloquy, if you will, with a crucial piece of advice.
Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered – Psalm 105:4 (ESV)
In other words, if you’ll allow me to be poetic for a moment: Stare intently into the heart of the Son. Reminding yourself daily of all the wonders that He’s done. Reminding yourself daily of all He’s done in your life. Reminding yourself daily how He’s brought you through strife. And, meditating continually on the stories the Bible’s told, of how He worked in the lives of the saints of old. – For when we reflect daily on what He has done, we will find that it becomes a kindling of sorts for that holy fire that He desires that we have. So as you embark on this new week, I pray that you would resolve to dwell on all that He is and all that He’s done. And, I pray that you would have have a holy joy that overflows for the fame of His name.
Psalm 101 reflects a passionate commitment to seek personal integrity in all that Christians do. As King David, the author, determined to live righteously before God and the people. Such a pursuit of integrity, he understood, must begin with his own life. Before he could desire to see it in others he must first live it himself.
Personal integrity is a precious character trait that enriches all who possess it. The English dictionary defines the word integrity as “steadfast adherence to a strict moral ethical code, the state of being unimpaired; soundness, the quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.” Integrity in fact, comes from the root word that means a total mixing of all the parts of one’s life into a consistent whole. When a Christians lives with integrity, the Word of God is completely included into their lives. No area is untouched or unaffected by obedience to the Scripture. Integrity describes someone who is noticeable by honesty, sincerity, and incorruptibility. A Christian is without hypocrisy or duplicity. Someone with integrity is consistent with what they truly believe.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. – Psalm 91:1-4 (ESV)
The Easter season should be a very poignant time for Christians in that it represents the culmination of the hope we stand in. For, without the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus, His birth would have much less significance. To be sure, while His life would have still been noble and righteous, it would have been absent of the ultimate saving quality that gives us our hope. Therefore, as we come out of this time of reflection on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, let us exit the season with hearts that respond to all that He has done. Let us enter these next days with hearts that find shelter in Jesus. Let us dwell in His shelter and abide in His shelter. For it is only in the shelter of Jesus that we find deliverance from the sinfulness of this world. Moreover, it is only in Jesus that we find ultimate redemption and reconciliation to our Heavenly Father. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”
1 Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you-you are my God.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.
7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.
8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
David’s plea for mercy and his humble request for spiritual growth tells us a lot about him. As king of Isreal he wasn’t lacking in anything material but it was the wealth of God’s grace that he truly desired. It was his pursuit of God’s own heart that made David a godly man. David was by no means righteous because of deed, but it was his love and faith in the Lord that David was known for his greatness.
I remember when the Lord revealed himself to me. I was spiritually running about 190mph when I found the dead end to the road that I was on. From the fear and pain from the wreckage of the sudden impact, I knew that there wasn’t anyone who could help out of the mangled mess I was in. From the bottom of my heart I cried out to God and He heard me. It was from the healing of His right hand that I understood that what I couldn’t see was more real that anything that I could see. I understand the love that the Psalmist have for the Lord and I thank Him for tending to my poor and needy spirit.
It is because of your Spirit that I know that I belong to Christ Jesus and I thank you for allowing me to share a small part of my testimony.
It is in your holy name that I give thanks. Amen.