Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Colossians 1:21-23

"And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him - if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard."

I don't know why I do the things I do.  I don't mean to, but I do them.  OK, sometimes I mean them.  But sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I want to do what is good, but keep doing what is not.  I like the first part of this scripture, which reminds up that our evil actions stem from our THOUGHTS.  That is precisely why the bible instructs us to be transformed through the renewing of our MINDS (Romans 12:2).  And how do we renew our minds? By taking captive every THOUGHT and making it obedient to Christ (1 Corinthians 10:5).  See a pattern here?  In order to accomplish God's will in our lives and to live at peace with everyone  (Romans 12:18) we must know His Word in the depths of our minds.  We must believe at the very core of our being, that this is real, that God cares for us, that Jesus pardoned us, and that the Holy Spirit works within us.  A great book on this concept is Dallas Willard's "Renovation of The Heart".  He talks about how our emotions stem from our thoughts.  Don't want to be frustrated?  THINK about something that doesn't frustrate you (perhaps the love of God even when we frustrate Him).  Have you ever had conversations with your spouses that they have never participated in?  You know the ones - you roll a situation over and over in your head, speaking for the other party.  You get more and more hurt and angry.  One day I decided to put Dallas' teaching into action.  When the situation above started to happen, I decided to think of something else.  Not only did my emotions follow my thoughts to something else, but I was shocked by the immediacy at which they followed.  The only part of me that lingered was the sin part - the part that wanted to choose to think about the situation and get angry about it.  I was shocked - you mean there is a part of me that likes to be unhappy?  What a strange realization!  Especially when I know it makes me so unhappy!  When I decided to deny that sin and change my thinking, my whole being rejoiced!  I not only spared frustration and anger for myself, but I added joy and peace to my life.  How amazing it is when the Bible proves right!  When we deny our sinful nature, the result is peace and fulfillment to our lives.  But Satan tries to convince us otherwise.  He tries to convince us that we are somehow vindicated and justified in our frustration and unhappiness, but we know the result is usually lack of fulfillment and sadness.  Oh Lord, help me to carefully choose my thoughts today.  When I am faced with difficult circumstances, let me direct those thoughts to you and your Word.  Change me from the inside, so my emotions and actions flow out of a changed mind.

The second part of this scripture deals with not only our salvation (a one-time occurance) but also our transformation (continual change).  It speaks about how Christ's death on the cross presents us:
1. Holy 
2. Without Blemish
3. Blameless before Him
But here is the amazing part - THIS IS NOT A ONE-TIME THING!  He doesn't just clean us up on the day of our salvation like a child scrubbed up for Sunday School who later plays in the mud.  He continually cleanses those who believe, those who remain in Him.  We do not have to worry about rejection over the sins we still commit.  God's love is not limited for those who believe.  BELIEVE my friend!  This is real!  This is true!

Boldly move forward today, choosing to direct your thoughts by setting your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2), and enjoy the sweet assurance of the continual cleansing you receive through your faith in Jesus Christ. ~Karen

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