December 15, 2010, Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-15
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
We live in a world where our actions matter. Each of us have heard the saying that our “actions speak louder than our words.” It’s true. The world will see us not by what we say, but how we live. That is even more so for us as Christians.
So, what actions should define us as Christians? What are we supposed to look like? How are we supposed to show a faith that expresses itself through love?
It is interesting that Paul, in Colossians, gives us a portrait of what it does not look like, and what it does look like. He says those who follow Christ should not be about sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Instead as redeemed and holy people of God we should be defined by our acts of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love. It is these gifts of the spirit – these gifts of grace – that we should be about, for they each flow out of our relationship with Christ and our need for the Holy Spirit to guide us each day.
Think about these gifts – mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love – today. Each of us have some area in that list that we need to improve on and grow closer to what God would have for us. Pray about that this day, and may the gifts of the spirit define our actions as Advent people this day.
Lord, you have blessed us with your love and called us to live as holy people. You desire us to be about mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love to our fellow brothers and sisters, and throughout the world. Teach us, today, how to live these gifts out in our daily lives. In Christ Name, Amen.