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Devotionals    H3'ed 2/10/14

Living the Christian Life - Lessons from Colossians - Part Three

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The fifth thing listed is perhaps the most easily overlooked and it is dirty language. The tongue is most difficult to tame. We live in a society that allows the majority of full cursing on network television. Things you would never hear on TV thirty years ago are throw away lines in todays market. Children are taught to curse as a part of their regular communication. At work, cursing and foul language is the norm. Unfortunately sometimes, the same can be said for Christian circles. A deaf ear is turned to the regularity with which Christians curse. One of the disturbing trends in the heretical emergent church movement are pastors who curse regularly, such as Mark Driscoll; also known as the cussing pastor. Once again, what does the world see when they look upon the body of Christ? What are they supposed to see and hear?

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  - Ephesians 4: 29 (NLT)

The English language is rich and diverse enough to get our point across without using profanity. If we want to find ourselves more in the Christian life we are supposed to be leading, Paul says - let's start with our mouths. Let's get rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander and filthy speech. Is this easy? Not in the world we live in but that should not stop us from striving towards being who Jesus wants us to be. 

Continuing on in verse nine we see that Jesus also does not want us to be lying to each other. There is a growing trend in Christian circles to have unity trump doctrine. That everyone who merely says the name of Christ must somehow be a brother or sister. That correcting error in love is somehow being Pharisaical or judgmental. The Bible simply does not support this. We are supposed to be helping one another in this walk. Iron does indeed sharpen iron. This "Kumbya Christianity" is not biblical and not helpful. The truth is what is supposed to matter. 

Going deeper however we see how the Apostle Paul relates these truths to us. The old sinful nature of lies, slander, malice, anger, rage, and foul language, as well as the wicked deeds they all lead to, were supposed to be stripped off of us. Who was supposed to strip these off of us? We were! Instead, we were supposed to put on our new nature in Christ. The clothing analogy he uses is quite fitting to make this more applicable to how we live. Who leaves their house unconcerned about what they are wearing? Who goes out in 20 degree weather wearing a bathing suit? Who goes out in 90 degree weather in an overcoat? Beyond the practical, who goes out without looking in the mirror to see if what they are wearing looks right? Who goes out wearing rotting clothing with holes and grime all over it? The answer of course is no one in the their right mind. That is exactly how we are supposed to approach the battle between our old self and new creation. It must be as conscious a decision as picking out what clothes to wear. We must strip off the old malice and old rage. We must discard the old slander and lies. We must make a conscious choice what it is that we put on each day that we go and represent Christ to a world that desperately needs Him. 

We must accomplish these things as part of our ongoing renewal process by learning to know our Creator and becoming more and more like him. Not by chasing the next big staged spiritual event. God has already revealed to us His will. It is called the Bible. When we look back over the spotted history of our faith we might wonder how so many could fall for such obvious deception such as the Holy Laughter movement or the false revivals in Pensacola or Lakeland? How could so many fall for the Prayer of Jabez prosperity nonsense, the purpose driven heresy or the witchcraft inspired Circle Maker? Because they were chasing the next great move of man instead of the established Word of God. We do not become more and more like our Creator except through prayer and reading His Word. 

It does not matter who we were as the key verses tell us today. It matters not if we were gentile or Jew. It matters not if we were American or African. What we used to wear is no longer who we are. We have stripped those clothes off for the new creation we all are supposed to be in Christ. It is Christ that now lives in us and beloved - He is all that matters. He is all that matters.   

Reverend Anthony Wade - February 10, 2014

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 
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