“Living the New Life”
MJCN Summer 2012 Chapel Service
Asbury Chapel, April 16, 2012, 5:00 pm
Bible Verses: Colossians Chapter 3:1-17
Good afternoon! Thank you Mr. Valles for your kind introduction.
Praise God for giving me another chance to speak in front of you. While preparing for our message this afternoon, I am reminded by one pastor’s message she said, “If your will not share your faith, your faith is dead!” You know, for me, it’s always been a privilege to share the word of God, His goodness and mercy, and amazing things that is happening to my life and to my family. Isn’t it good to know what God is doing in our lives today? Are we all wishing for a new hope, a new beginning and new life?
God’s message today is entitled, “LIVING A NEW LIFE” from the book of Colossians 3:1-17. My reference is from Hope for Today Bible, New Living Translation, Red Letter Edition 2009 featuring notes and encouragement from Pastor Joel and Victoria Osteen. I hope you will be encouraged and inspired by God’s word today. Shall we pray….
Dear Heavenly Father, fill this place with Your Spirit and love. Prepare our hearts as we hear your Words this afternoon. I lift up to you your message today. May this day be a blessing to everyone. Be with me Lord throughout Your message. Use me to glorify your name. I Jesus name, Amen.
I will share to you 5 points on how to make… “LIVING A NEW LIFE”… a reality in yours and in my life. I will summarize our message in 5 major points, 1) LOOK HIGHER, 2) CLOTHED IN COMPASSION, 3) A LIFE OF PEACE, 4) PURSUE EXCELLENCE and 5) WORK WILLINGLY.
1) LOOK HIGHER. According to Colossians 3:2 it says, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Faith is confident obedience to the will and purposes of God, regardless of the apparent consequences or our circumstances. Faith is simply seeing what God sees. It’s choosing God’s way even when things look differently in the natural. When you set your thoughts on higher things, you are looking at life through your eyes of faith. For e.g.: you may have a financial need today, but when you look higher, you see God’s promise to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. You may have sickness in your body today, but when you look higher, you see that Jesus paid for your sickness and disease. You may feel lonely today, but when you look higher, you see that God has promised to never leave you nor forsake you.
As we study the Word of God, we are setting our thoughts on higher things. As we set our thoughts on higher things, our faith will become stronger, and we will begin to see those things become reality in our life.
Let me sight some common daily realities in my family. My husband, a dentist, depends so much on our Lord’s daily provision. Seriously, what I admire with my husband is how he trusts fully in the grace our Lord one day at a time. Like the manna in the desert, God gives my husband the right patient to meet our daily needs. Minsan sa tuwa, he gives enough discounts, when the need is already met. Kaya punta na kayo sa kanya, sa Cainta nga lang. Pero, this proves that God has more than enough grace that you need TODAY, not tomorrow. Tomorrow has its own day of God’s grace, so, worry not my child!
2. CLOTHED IN COMPASSION. In the book of Colossians 3:12 it says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Remember the typhoon Ondoy? Our church in Marikina and most of the members were at the center of the calamity. After everyone, the church members, finished their home cleaning, our pastor rallied us to reach out to others affected by the flood. So we gather our resources: canned goods, rice and water and distributed them to the needy surrounding our church and shared the good news of Christ. It was a humbling way of growing in Christ-likeness. While yet still recovering from our losses, God used us to comfort the comfortless. Why, or is it how? It’s BECAUSE… of the spirit’s enabling that makes our compassion for others to grow more as well.
Sometimes, tragedy brings out the best in people. We can be very generous when the need is desperate and obvious. But we need to remember that there are people around us who are facing the desperate storms of life every day. Their needs might not be so obvious. We may have to look a little bit harder to see what they need so we can determine how to help. Keep our eyes and our heart open to the people we encounter each day. Focus on how we can be a blessing to others. That’s clothing us with compassion the way Jesus did. May be it is something as simple as speaking a kind word or taking groceries to someone, helping the elderly crossing the street, or thanking the street sweeper for doing their job well. Look for opportunities for random act of kindness; these are expressions of God’s love to the world.
3. A LIFE OF PEACE. Colossians 3:15 says, “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.”
As believers, God is looking for us to have a thankful heart. Thankfulness will often automatically come when you allow the peace of God to rule our hearts. Did you know that we can choose to have peace? We don’t have to let things upset us. We don’t have to live anxious and worried. That word peace means “to set at one again.” When we set our mind to be one with God and His Word, we will have peace – a peace that surpasses all understanding. God also lead us by peace. If we don’t have peace about something, wait and seek God until that peace fills your heart again. And when you have peace, you can’t help but be thankful! We will have a song in our heart and spring in our step. Choose today to let the peace of Christ rule in your heart and have an attitude of gratitude toward the Lord. Even if you have things that are upsetting you, take a step of faith and begin to thank God for his goodness in your life. Thank Him, knowing that He promises to work all things together for our good and His glory. And always thank Him for the peace He makes possible for us through Christ.
4. PURSUE EXCELLENCE. Colossians 3:17 says, And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” What would you do if your bf, bff or your favorite celebrity was going to come to your house for dinner tonight? You’d probably clean the house a little bit more, pull out your best dishes, and plan the perfect meal. You’d wear your best clothes, or perhaps buy new one. I’m sure you will plan something special, and you will put an extra effort to try to make sure everything was perfect!
In the same way, we should strive to live with our “best foot forward” simply because we belong to the Most High God. WE ARE HIS AMBASSADORS, and we should do everything as unto the Lord. Be your best that you can be, even when no one is looking. Christians should be known as the most faithful, hardest working, most trustworthy, kindest, most fun people on the planet! Would it make a difference if Jesus sat beside us? When we put our whole heart into whatever it is we are doing and do it as unto the Lord, God will honor and bless us for it. Strive for and pursue excellence in everything we do. Did you know that God made us not to become an ordinary but an excellent one!
5. WORK WILLINGLY. Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
How many times we have volunteered for a task, gotten about halfway through and decided this wasn’t for you anymore? We’ve all had times when we didn’t necessarily enjoy what we were doing, but Scripture tells us that we should work willingly at whatever we do. When we are working for the Lord, there will be a joy on the inside of us. Deep down in our spirit, we will feel a sense of accomplishment. We will live the best life that God intended for us. If we will live a focused life with priorities in order and clear goals for the future, there’s no limit to what God will do! Our deepest desires should be to know and then to follow God’s perfect will, so that one day we can look back and say, “This is why my God put me here.”
Let me end by challenging you to pursue what God has placed in your heart. Start your life with Him. Ask for direction and purpose. Be compassionate and be at peace with others. Do your best as if you have only one audience, God himself. You are where you are because God put you in that place. So make every effort to honor Him by doing your work diligently and willingly with gladness and thankfulness your heart. God bless you all. To Him be the glory! Amen.