“How to” books are very popular and always have been. Who wants to pay for a service that you could probably do yourself, if only someone would show you how? YouTube is the pinnacle of “how to’s”. Not only do you get instruction but it’s on video!
That’s what Colossians 3 is all about. It’s a chapter written to people who didn’t know how to live the kingdom life, the good life, the higher life in Christ. It’s Kingdom Living for Dummies. Do you get my drift? We are no different from these people in ancient Turkey. We desire God’s kind of life but aren’t always sure how to get there. Why? Because that life is secret, it’s hidden from the world, but it is nevertheless real.
As you read this week keep in mind a few points to help you follow Paul’s line of thinking. And remember, always use a translation of the Bible that’s easy to understand. Lay aside those versions that after reading a section you look up and say, “Huh?” I like the New Living Translation; it’s accurate and there is a natural flow in the words.
• Watch for the obvious contrasts: sin nature and new nature, heavenly thinking and earthly thinking, being dead to the world but alive in Christ, the materialistic life or the hidden life.
• Spend some time on the lists of behaviors from the old life. Compare them to the characteristics of this secret life you now have available to you. Which list would best describe you? Now is the time to get serious.
• It seems that our mouth is the primary concern. Surprised? I didn’t think so. The way we handle our anger can be changed and controlled through the power of the Holy Spirit. Your language can be cleaned up and the tendency to lie to make yourself look better will fade away. Slander and gossip will disappear in this new life. Now is the time.
• Our lives reflect our relationship with Christ. We literally re-present Him to the world by our behavior. We want people to see a difference, don’t we?
• This new life includes our relationships of all kinds. Look at the examples. It’s the “how to” of relationships.
Hopefully, after reading this third part of Paul’s letter to these believers you are getting the gist of his intense longing. As he sits in prison, writing to people he will never meet, he encourages kingdom living. I can identify in a very small way. It’s what I experience each time I write this blog. I also want my readers to live the higher life. We are in this together. If you are encouraged, let others know. Give them a “how to” for the blog. Now is the time, don’t put it off. Be an encourager to others.