As you think about a baby shower, it is obvious and natural to think about new life. I thought about speaking on our duties as mothers or the aspect of servanthood in mothering, but I have been in Colossians in my QT for a few months now, and the thought/phrase “new life” kept bringing to mind different passages from Colossians.
A few weeks ago someone prayed during prayer meeting, “Lord, let us help us to be a happy, holy, and humble people.” That seemed to fit so well with what the Lord has been teaching me lately. I really can’t think of anything as mothers or grandmothers or future mothers that would benefit our children more than for US to have new life in Christ and to walk closely with Him. When I am unhappy or discontent, lacking in holiness, and having a proud heart, it is so obvious to see how the little lives God has entrusted to me suffer, and so in a way, this really could be considered a talk on parenting.
We read these verses and know what true joy is, and our lives are transformed. As a result of this transformation, we now truly have the potential to be happy, holy, and humble.
This summer Sandy spoke about love one night, and the Lord began to open my eyes at that point about the direct relationship between love and other out workings of walking with God. So, the more we are loving God and others and are aware of that love that the Father must have for us, the more naturally happiness, holiness, and humility flow.
Likewise, it seems that pride and these things have an inverse relationship. The more we allow ourselves to be consumed with self, the less we will be able to see true love, happiness, humility, and holiness in our lives.
I heard someone make a remark not too long ago about what an unusual thing to see a happy Calvinist, and it bothered me! When we have new life in Christ, there is much to rejoice in. I am not going to split hairs between happiness and joy, but I will mention that when I am consciously making an effort to count my blessing and have an attitude of thankfulness, I find myself being happy! For this reason, I am putting a few verses about thankfulness under happiness.
In the first chapter Paul tells the Colossians that he has been praying that they would be filled with the knowledge of the will of God and to be strengthened for the purpose of having patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance o the saints in the light.
Paul mentions later “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you,” (1:24) and you might think “rejoice?” “sufferings?” But the reason is that he understands the riches of the glory the mystery, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (1:27)
I realize that that last verse did not say anything about happiness, but thinking of that mystery… that Christ is in the believer, and THAT is our hope of glory… that really makes me happy!
These verses are all intertwined and flow with each other, because as we think about these things and are thankful, not only do our lives reflect our joy in Christ, but they increase in holiness and humility.
There are so many verses in Colossians that speak towards leading a life of personal holiness. Chapter 4 gives several practical applications like our speech, submitting to our husbands, prayer life, and how we spend our time. It is so important for us to bear in mind that our holiness is only straight from Christ.
Col. 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
That is a great blanket statement. This verse also summarizes how we should walk in holiness:
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord; so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. (Col. 2:6-7)
At first reading, these verses went into my category of verses for holiness because they are a good reminder to walk in Him and be established in the faith. On second thought, it would just as easily fit in with the thought of being a happy people because they remind us to abound in thanksgiving. Also, leading into the last point, they could easily fit in with the thought of being humble. The first of the verse says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord.” When we remember that the way we received Jesus was by coming to God empty handed and fully trusting in His mercy through Christ, we are truly humbled. In this same way are we to live our lives… remembering that our holiness and all walking in Him comes only through Him and not by anything good in ourselves.
As we think about who we are apart from Christ and what Christ has done on behalf of sinners, we have no reason to be anything other than humble.
As Anita prepares to celebrate new life, I thought it would be helpful for us to think about our new life in Christ. When we have new life in Christ and walk closely with Him, happiness, holiness, and humility are evidences of Christ’s work in our life.
I just want to close by reading this last passage from Colossians:
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him. (3:12-17)