Wednesday, October 21st

Wednesday, October 21st

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. Colossians 3:12-14

Today's thought from today's verses:

Would you not agree that when you think of Christianity and all it consists of, the one thing that stands out and sets it apart from all other belief systems, is its focus on "forgiveness?" Our Colossian passage is a parallel passage to our Ephesians passage from yesterday. However, our Colossian passage brings "forgiveness" into the mix with these very important words, "the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." God patiently waited for us to respond to him and his gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Our initial forgiveness (redemption) cleansed our hearts and made it possible for God to come live within us.

It is a big jump from "the Lord forgave you" to "you must forgive others." It is God living within us through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that makes this possible. It is God's patience that brought forgiveness to us and made our hearts the home of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit produces the fruits of the Spirit in our lives which revolutionizes our relationships with other people. It is the fruit of patience in our lives that allows us to become ones who forgive others as the Lord has forgiven us. It is as if God's "default" response to us is forgiveness and not judgment and this "default" response of forgiveness and not judgment, is what God "greatly desires" for us in our relationships with other people.

Today's prayer response from today's thought:

Lord, I know the true measure of my thankfulness for the forgiveness you have poured into my life is the level of forgiveness I pour into the lives of the people around me. I know I cannot do this on my own. So, I choose to rely on you (waiting patiently for the Lord) and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring this about. I know that patience and forgiveness go hand in hand and so here I am Lord, bowed before you, allowing you to make me more fully a recipient and agent of patience and forgiveness than ever before. Amen!

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