ODJ: a long way

February 26, 2013 

READ: Colossians 3:1-17 

Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (v.17).

In trying to sell our house by owner (not using an estate agent), my husband made sure to ask each of our neighbours for permission to place a directional sign at a junction near our home. One particular homeowner seemed surprised that Scott had bothered to ask. As he gave his assent, he admitted that his usual response was to pull up any signs left by others who had not asked his permission. So we weren’t surprised, when driving by his house a few weeks later, that our sign remained in its place while another ‘for sale’ sign had been removed and tossed to the side. The lesson for us was clear: A little respect goes a long way.
Being a Christian isn’t about a set of philosophical ideas. We’re called to embody an entirely different culture from the secular society around us—not just in the vices we avoid but also in the atmosphere of honour we create wherever we go (Colossians 3:12-14).
Following a Saviour who became “nothing” for our sake (Philippians 2:7-8 NIV), we unlock the secret of the changed life when we understand that our entire worth is wrapped up in Him (Colossians 2:6-7). It takes little effort to do what simply benefits us, but the kingdom of heaven calls us to something far different. Implicit in the sacrifice of Jesus was His decision to place our needs above His own wellbeing (Isaiah 53:6-10).

Accessing these principles, however, isn’t some hidden mystery. Jesus made it simple when He explained that as we love God with our entire being, the next obvious fulfilment of His Word is to love others as we want to be loved (Luke 10:27). In this way our lives become a reversal from protecting our own interests to respecting the concerns of others. —Regina Franklin

Read Psalm 19:14, Ephesians 4:26 and Colossians 4:6 to see practical applications of what it means to be a new creation in Jesus.

In what area of your life is God challenging you to prefer someone else over yourself? How can keeping our perspective on eternity change the way we act toward others? (Colossians 3:2,11).