Colossians 3-4: the ideal life
The ideal life?
It isn’t what our culture and advertisers say it is. The ideal life isn’t about having the right stuff. It’s about… well let’s read what Paul said in his letter to the Jesus followers in Colossi and Laodicea.
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites. Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”
Colossians 3:16-4:6 – NLT
Start with letting the message about Christ fill our lives. That message is that Jesus came to earth to save sinners. He saved us by dying on the cross. He became the sacrifice. He Himself is the payment for our sins. He rose from the grave. He conquered our two oldest and most powerful enemies; sin and death. Then he ascended into heaven so he could prepare a place for us, and so he could send the Holy Spirit to enlighten and empower us and so he could be our defense attorney so that no accusation brought up about us be put held against us.
Because all that is true, we are forgiven and set free, we are free to live the ideal life. The ideal life is having received mercy, being in a state of grace, and then being and living graciously and mercifully and lovingly in everything that we do.
The ideal life is not about what we have, it’s about what we give away. We give away love and grace and mercy and forgiveness. The ideal life is living a life of love and service.