Above All Love

Would you like God’s perfect harmony in your life?

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17

We are told – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 and –

“Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

And Paul says here “above all put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” He is clearly referring to loving others as Christ loved us since he opens the chapter by saying “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” The key here is to learn to love others as Jesus loves us which requires that we must look deeper on each point to understand the mind of Christ. Otherwise our loving ways might not change much from our old ways. But He has sent the Holy Spirit to reside within us and guide us in all truth – we can love as Jesus loves – we can see the peace of Christ rule in our hearts – we can have victory over lust and pride and our old ways.

Ephesians 4:22-24 makes it clear that spiritual transformation is a
Three Step Process.
1. Put off the old ways
2. Be renewed in the spirit of our minds
3. Put on the new nature

Since our old ways are often lived out unconsciously, we must consciously focus on each new way. So ask yourself what is my old way? How would Jesus love others differently here? How will I put on the mind of Christ?

Paul explains putting on the mind of Christ.
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”
2 Corinthians 5:15-16

Lessons –
My old way is to live for myself. My renewed mind lives for Jesus rather that myself. Hopefully others will see Him through me. Put on seeing others as Christ sees them. The new me no longer looks at others from a worldly point of view; or judges them by their failings and weaknesses. Christ would always see others as those in need of the gospel, and when they receive it – old things will pass away, and new things will transform them.

“Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.” Ephesians 4:26-28

Anger is not sin but allowing anger or any other negative emotions to place you under the control of the evil is sin. Internalized anger leads to bitterness, hate, slander, gossip and other evil actions. Put off giving the devil an opportunity in your life, and put on forgiveness as Christ forgives us – Jesus always forgives us and he does not take into account a wrong suffered.

Think about it – is there any way in which you steal from others? If not the principle here is still a 180 degree reversal in the way you see things. This can be applied to just about any area of failure in our lives. For the thief, renewing his mind is to realize that it is not enough to just stop stealing; but rather he needs to get a job and become a giver to others, rather than a taker from others.

Put off, renew your mind, put on.
Do you forgive others unconditionally?
Are you giving the devil an opportunity? What is it?
Are you a taker, or a giver?

As you can see putting on the love of Christ goes against the grain of our human nature in different ways for each of us daily. Here’s the beginning of God’s perfect list. In Christ we can be all these things and much more.

Christ’s Love is compassionate, kind, humble, forgiving, patient, not envious, not boastful, not prideful. not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices in the truth; always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, and encourages others, Jesus is joyous, peaceful, good, faithful, and gentle. He is self-controlled, graceful, truthful, and He honors others.

Now Put off old, Renew our minds, Put on new
The rest is up to you and me and the Holy Spirit.

All Means All and that’s all All means.
Grace and Peace to you my friends,

Bob West Geezerdust2020©

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