Week Seven - Day Four
Examine your life by the Word
Colossians 3:1-10 - If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on Earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put o the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowl- edge after the image of its creator.
The apostle Paul was a living example of someone who had taken o the old self and put on the new self. He was originally a well-respected Jewish authority who was very self-assured (Acts 22:3). He was a devout Jew and studied under a highly respected Jewish teacher, Gamaliel. Because he was deeply devoted to the Jewish faith, Paul pursued followers of Jesus and had them arrested and killed! He was among the most religious people of his day - until he met Jesus (Acts 9:1-19). Then, he did a complete 180°! He renounced his prior life and began to live a completely di erent life for the glory of Jesus Christ, even at great personal cost to himself.
As Paul lived for Christ, he was beaten several times -- even to the point where he was left for dead. And yet, he would return to the same people that had abused him to tell them, again, how great Jesus is and why they should follow Jesus! (See 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 for those details.) Paul knew what he was talking about when he shared the need to turn from the old self and put on the new. As a disciple interested in making other disciples, Paul relentlessly encouraged people to grow and live a life totally committed to Jesus.
- Here is an exercise to asses your transformation over time. Review Colossians 3:12-17 and then ask yourself how well you are putting on the new self as described by Paul. If you ask the Holy Spirit, he will show you where you can rejoice because he has transformed you. He may also show you where further change is needed.
- How can you use your ongoing transformation to encourage others?