"So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and 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 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. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colsossians 3:12-16
I believe everyone is chosen by God, but not everyone chooses Him. We know from His Word it is not His will that any should perish. If we choose Him as Lord of our lives we are defined here as holy and beloved. We also know after salvation comes a process of sanctification. The word sanctify means literally ‘to be set apart for special use or purpose," that is, to make holy or sacred. Therefore, sanctification refers to the state or process of being set apart as a vessel, full of the Holy Spirit of God.
In order to experience sanctification we must take off the old nature and put on Christ Jesus as scripture says, and make no provision for the lusts of our flesh. (Romans 13:14) It is a constant process of renewing our minds with His Word that we might be transformed into His likeness. We must be intentional to live with a heart of compassion as He did, and full of kindness, humbling ourselves, which is something we must do, with gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another as He does us, and forgiving with the same forgiveness we receive constantly from Him when we ask, preceding repentance. Even our complaints we acquire against one another must be forgiven. There is a thought to ponder! Then Paul tells us above all these virtues, to put on love which is the perfect bond for unity.
We are in desperate need in our families, our churches, and our nation as a whole for unity. The word love is synonymous with Christ Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is made up of perfected, supreme love. It is the greatest force in the entire creation. It always has been and always will be, because God and His Word are infinite and eternal.
Jesus, while praying to His Father, gave us the definition of unity in John 17:23:
"I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me."
He also warned about a spirit of division in Mark 3:24-25:
"If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!"
These are two powerful forces! One is for good, and the other is for evil and destruction. Unity with God will unify you with another believer if both are fully submitted to Him and His Word. If He is first in a marriage it will stand through anything. But both must value their unity with Christ above their unity with each other.
The man is the head of the home. He is the ultimate authority over his wife and children, and with that comes the responsibility for him to keep them cleansed in the Word of God. (Ephesians 5:22-32) I strongly urge you to read these scriptures together as a family aloud, and discuss them with all ages of your children. Young ones understand more than we think. Memorize Jesus’ definition of unity, and try to obey it daily.
The spirit of division is one of Satan’s greatest tools to destroy relationships which gives him the power to destroy families, churches, and nations. Remember his purpose is to kill, steal, and destroy you. (John 10:10, Luke 22:31). Read these chapters. If he can plant a spirit of division in the hearts of husbands and wives the family will be destroyed in time. Our families make up the church and our society. It also is to represent and glorify Christ and His Bride, the church. God Himself created the structure of families. It was ordained by Him when He created Adam and Eve. Therefore, the destruction of families is the kingdom of darkness’ top priority. I don’t think anyone can deny that as we look around us at the divorce rates, especially in our churches. The impact divorce has on the lives within a family are horrific, and unfortunately it is for their lifetime, and future generations unless divine intervention is allowed, because we know
nothing is impossible with God! If permitted, He can restore any situation we have allowed the enemy to create in our lives. There is alway hope with the love of God. He can break any evil.
Our final instructions we must let happen in our lives is to let the peace of God rule in our hearts, and we are to be thankful. Thanksgiving should not have ended on Thursday. Everyday should be a day of thanksgiving to our Holy Trinity, and all the love that is bestowed upon us now and for eternity. Let God’s peace and thanksgiving fill your heart . They go hand in hand.
And finally we are to let the words of Christ richly dwell in our hearts, so that we might teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Holy Spirit, singing with thankfulness in our hearts to God. Why don’t we start in our own families? When one starts to complain, admonish them with these verses to give thanks to God. We will have to if we let our hearts turn to His Word, and allow Him to love us through it, and to guide our thoughts and fill our hearts. Out of the mouth speaks what we put in our hearts. Let the thoughts of Christ concerning you fill your hearts in your family. Help each other. Teach each other.
As has been stated, we know the man is the head of the family. We must pray for our husbands and encourage them. Mothers must teach the children to honor and pray for the head of their home. Husbands must honor and teach the children the value of a godly mother and to honor her. Children must be taught to love one another and not to compete against each another, but to help each other be the best they can be out of love for Jesus who left us such a beautiful example to follow.
If we give one another Christ, we have given the greatest gift there is. So, with Thanksgiving over and Christmas before us, let us think past all the distractions and emptiness this word has to offer for something deeper and more worthy. Let us all as individuals take responsibility not to allow thanksgiving to end, but become a daily way of life. May we first teach ourselves and then our children that Christmas is not about them! Think how much more meaningful Christmas would be if we taught the true meaning to our children and that Christmas never ends for the children of God, the Father. The gift He gave us in His Son is eternal. He valued each one of us enough to ask His only Son to come down to earth and live among us, so that we might be able to go to Him and live eternally in heaven. Then try to describe heaven. Let them know the best is yet to come. May we bring in the New Year putting on Christ and allowing His Words to richly dwell in our hearts. LET us first determine to do things differently in our own lives, and watch what happens in our personal lives and our families. Let us ring in the new year with renewed minds, gratitude, and hope in our hearts filled with thanksgiving to our God!
In His love.
My heart was filled with peace and thanksgiving as I once again returned to my "happy place," at SerenityPoint on Topsail Island, NC.