Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Day Seventeen - Fixing our Minds on Christ

Do you ever look at all that God asks and commands you to do and think, "I can't do this"?

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.” 

Colossians 3:12-15 (HCSB)

By His Strength  

When I look at this passage, I see one tall order and I say to myself “I can't. I can't do this. I can't put on patience and humility and kindness and gentleness, I can't."

Now, I can try. I can try to work in my own volition but I'll remind you again, as I reminded you many times over the last several days, we don't do this in our own strength. When the Lord calls us to an assignment He gives us everything that we need and we’ve learned through the book of Colossians so far that He gives us His strength and His power. 

It’s Christ in us, the hope of glory and his manifestation that looks like kindness and acceptance and forgiveness - even when we know in our flesh we can not pull this off. 

We don’t have what it takes. 

I want to encourage you today sister, walk in God's strength. Don't try to do this on your own but pray day by day for the Lord to give you encouragement, counsel, guidance, and strength -  everything that you need to do what He’s asked you to do.  

Love: The Perfect Bond of Unity

This passage also says to put on love which is the perfect Bond of unity. This is agape love. This is the unconditional love that comes from a decision, not necessarily an emotion. When we decide to love others, we do so in the strength of Jesus Christ. Love manifests itself in beautiful ways that touch lives, our own lives, and turn people toward Christ. That's our goal. 

Forgiving One Another

I also want to encourage you today that forgiveness, just like agape love, is a decision. I know it's hard. I have done a lot of learning, a lot of teaching, and a lot of speaking on the topic of forgiveness. I know how difficult it is but when you decide to forgive because Jesus has forgiven you and because He has asked you to forgive others, you walk in obedience. Eventually, your emotions are going to follow. 

Start with a baby step. Start by saying “Lord I'm going to forgive because you’ve asked me to forgive. I don't feel like it. I don't want to. But you’ve asked me to do it, so I’m going to step out in faith and do all that I can in your strength and trust that you will lead me down the path." And then know that He will.

Today's Challenges

So, two challenges for you today: decide to love and decide to forgive. And I know you will be blessed in those acts of obedience. 

Be blessed today and be blessed in the word and I'll see you right back here tomorrow.

Cathy McIntosh is the author of Victorious: Finding Triumph When Hope Seems Lost. When you can’t see God’s activity in your situation, you might begin to feel hopeless. You’re tempted to doubt His care and involvement in your life because He feels so . . . absent. Victory feels elusive as if God intends it for everyone but you.

But God is never absent. He is as involved in your life today as He was when He protected Queen Esther and the entire Jewish nation from annihilation, and He will bring victory.  Click here to purchase.

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