John 6:43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.
I was told to write a gratefulness journal. So, here goes: I’m grateful for love. I am grateful that He continues to teach me, lead me, sing to me. Love is patient. Kind. No envy. No boasting. It keeps no record of wrongs. It is kind. Only rejoices in the truth.
And the truth is: We are to put on compassion for one another as if we were sinking into clothing. At a certain point, kids are able to dress themselves. Their attempts at dressing come out awkwardly at first and then they start to figure out how to dress with style and with an eye for the occasion.
For grown Christians, every occasion is the right one to clothe ourselves with the fruits of the Spirit. We can be “fruity” without being nuts. 🙂
Check out Colossians 3. This verse uses the ancient Greek word ἐνδύω which means: “to put on, to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self.”
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on ἐνδύω a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
1- ἐνδύω Means to sink into or to clothe oneself or array as if it were a beautiful garment. Picture sinking into the perfect PJs. You have to yield to the clothing. Yield to dressing yourself.
Helpful Steps to Fruitiness:
1- Forgive one another:
One of the course setters for my life has been: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ.” If you set your mind on the things of heaven, it orders your priorities. If someone slights or insults you in any way, you can remember that He counts you. You are valuable to Him. And that you’re working for a reward that isn’t here. It’s just not here. What about the eternal value of the soul that is insulting you? What about the value of your soul- that sweet-smelling fragrance before the Lord? Forgiveness comes easier when have an eye on the sovereignty of God. What does the Lord want from me?
Forgiveness comes easier when you are fully shielded by faith in Him.
2-Pick up your shield of Faith: Being shielded means that your life is hidden. Your identity belongs to Him alone. What He says about you is the truest thing about you. He has hidden you in the folds of His garment (Colossians 3:3-4). He has protected you and He has a name for you that no one else knows (Revelation 2:17). How can they truly insult you? Don’t you know that you are different from the biological shell that transports you around this round globe?
Your inner-man is the person He crafted to stay for eternity:
2 Corinthians 4: 6 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
3-Know who you are: built to last for eternity by THE CREATOR. Know that you are hidden with Him. He alone owns and knows your inner man truly.
4- Yield to God’s sovereignty; yield to His purposes. You were called into one Body. You were called to be a part of the Body of Christ so clothe yourself …sink into the fluffiest pajamas ever: brotherly love. Christ calls us to unity. If Christ calls you to do something, are you going to tell Him no? If you have felt unsafe with Christians, Christ will help you find your inner balance of interacting and putting boundary lines down until you are fully clothed with His shield of Faith. Sometimes, we lack the “skin” that unity requires. We need healing. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the Church. Sometimes, it has to do letting our inner selves be strengthen by Him so that we are sound enough to be around other people. Baby steps.
And aside from that, there is being salt and light to people who are called to be Christians and are what I call: “pre-Christians.”
Each person around the world, no matter how jacked up they are, could really use a sister. Could really stand to have a brother. If you can see that… past all of their issues or weirdness or even inappropriateness… then you might catch a glimpse of what it means to be salt and light.
5- Be sober. Be alert. Be aware that the enemy of your soul would love to sift you and drag you down the drain pipe of whatever temptation is around you.
A dear friend of mine said: “The only difference between us and unsaved people is that we know Jesus.” Otherwise, we are the same but to whatever degree we have yielded our inner and outer man to be renewed:
“Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him….”
Christ as the great equalizer:
He brings a “renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” Don’t look for overnight change in people. Think of it as an investment for years and years down the road.
6. Rest assured that you can rest assured in Him. He has you in His Hands and all the details of your life. I hope this helped you. This is about growing into Him- into the organic armor of the Lord: the shield of faith helps you love people. The shield of faith allows you to be part of the community that God sovereignly placed in your life and a part of the community that you chose. All of the different communities require faith. Faith for them. Faith for you. Faith in Him.
7. And peace. Anxiety is another thing that will ROB you blind. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
What does it mean to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart?
is the ancient Greek word for “rule” used in the above verse and it more fully means:
to be an umpire
to decide, determine
to direct, control, rule
That is associated with
the Greek word for prize:
the award to the victor in the games, a prize
metaph. of the heavenly reward for Christian character
That word is used in these verses: 1Co 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? G1017 Run in such a way that you may win.
And also in Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
So press on. Be the winner. Be the victor. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ.” If you are a Christian, you are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20). Honor God in your heart. Let your inner man yield to the Sovereign God’s order. Set (direct) your mind. Let the peace of God umpire your mind. Set up guideposts or markers. Gentle reminders.
And be thankful.
“Since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Ps. A part of letting the peace of Christ to ump your heart is this: “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Practice fruitiness. Practice peace. Practice regarding God in every moment. At whatever point you are not regarding Christ in your decisions as The Commander, you have become foolish.
Psalms 14:1 “The fools says in his heart: there is no God.” The ancient Hebrew word for fool is Nabal. The root word of nabal (fool) is nabel which means: to sink down. to sink or drop down, languish, wither and fall, fade.
Interesting that we have two different types of sinking. 1- we relax “sink down as into a garment” or “put on” God’s sovereign plan for us to be in unity with the Body of Christ and becoming renewed in the knowledge of our Creator. 2- Or, we sink dow, drop down, languish, wither, fall, fade into death.
“There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end therefore is death.”
Either way we die to ourselves. We die and become hidden in Christ, who is Life Itself, eternal life. Or, we die and wither, languishing in an eternal death. Your choice.
“Choose you this day.” We have the prerogative and the command to choose from our Creator. His sovereign plan includes choice. Who you hang around, who you date, if you argue, if you fight for your own rights so much that you become argumentative and unpleasant for other people and yourself. “It is better to live on the corner of a roof than with an contentious woman.” Or, in another translation: “it’s better to live on the corner of a roof than in a wide house with a brawling woman.”
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
8.The Daddy Issue: We don’t do these things for the sake of people. We do them as unto the Lord. Meaning: we do them because He is worthy. He is good. He is holy. He is love. He is worth it. He is our Dad. He will reward. There is no favoritism. “Do not be deceived, what you sow you will reap.”
“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors….”
9. Rely on Him. Don’t rely on your own strength. Or the strength of your friends or money. Rest. Be patient. Keep an eye on the prize. Sink down into the fluffiness of His rest on a daily basis. On an hourly basis. Moment by moment. Rest. It’s the state of your inner man that knows his Sovereign. It’s the state of your soul that knows that your eternal placement as a son or daughter of the Lord is already secured. You have your eyes… on the prize.
Philippians 3:14-20 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ….”
In closing: Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ.”.
The prize is Him. Genesis 15:6: The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. The prize is walking in your inheritance now “on Earth as it is in Heaven” that unbroken communication between you and the Lord. Knowing what His will is and moving toward it. We are yielding, resting, watching, waiting and then acting on His call. His voice. What is the Lord saying?
He’s saying: “stop grumbling among yourselves” and “as Beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as I forgave you, so also should you forgive others. Beyond all these things put (sink into) on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Merry Christmas, Beloved. Merry Christmas to the Body of Christ. May we press on to ‘grab a hold of’ that which Christ ‘grabbed a hold to’ for us.