|Sunday in the Backwoods|
My Saturday devotions: Colossians 3
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Let us not get too busy for family and personal devotions this weekend. They help focus our hearts, our minds, on all things Christ. Let us not forget what we were saved for. We receive vertical love and grace from our Father, and we are then called to distribute that love horizontally, to those around us. Let us not forget the poor and needy, who need us to represent their causes. Can we write a letter to our sponsored children this weekend, and send them a colored picture for their walls? Can we bring food to a local food pantry? Can we go through the kids' piggy banks and help them count out 10% to give to the church? Can we get our own tithe written ahead of time, ready to give in church tomorrow? Can we get our prayer journals/jars/records in order, ready to work for us?
What can we do to pursue your kingdom and your righteousness this weekend, Father?
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b]
Let us pray, "Lord, search my heart. What impurity is in me, what greed or evil desire? Help me identify it and put it to death Lord, through your strength."
7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
"Search my heart, Lord. Am I angry with someone, or with you? Have I spoken ill of someone? Have I used language that is displeasing to you? Help me, Lord. Cleanse me."
9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
"Have I been dishonest, Lord? With you, with myself, with my friends or loved ones? Create in me a clean heart, help me to see myself as I really am."
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
"Have I made time to properly love those around me, Lord? Have I taken the time to show compassion, kindness, gentleness? Have I been humble in heart? Help me choose and do what is pleasing to you, Lord."
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
"Have I had a thankful heart this week, Father? Show me my ingratitude. Help me repent and start anew, counting my blessings. Help me to remember your faithfulness, and give you all the praise and glory."