How should a committed Christian’s love for God be seen in his or her daily life?
As we begin this series on committed Christianity, it is only proper and fitting that we begin with our thought for today, which is, that a committed Christian adores his Savior. After all, isn’t that the first part of the Great Commandment?
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.” – Matthew 22:37-38 (ESV)
“God created you for the first and greatest commandment, to be a lover of God.” – Sam Storms
“Every Christian would agree that a man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God.” – C.S. Lewis
In verse 14 of Colossians 3, Paul tells us . . .
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” – Colossians 3:14 (NASB)
But what does that look like? If I, as a Christian, am living my life, adoring my Savior, how will that be revealed in my daily life? Paul gives us some answers in our passage today.
Colossians 3:15-17 –
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
A love for Christ will make a difference in . . .
- My walk – v. 15
- I will live by the rule of peace – v. 15a
In his relationship with God, the committed Christian seeks to allow peace to rule in his heart, which means he will seek to avoid those things which disturb the peace of his relationship with his Savior. Things like sin, disobedience, selfishness, neglect of prayer and neglect of God’s Word. Therefore, the committed Christian confesses his sins immediately, tries to obey God faithfully, submits to Christ’s Lordship daily, and spends time in prayer and the Word habitually. Something I often say is “If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.” On the opposite side you do not want to make it something that is only a habit.
- I will live in the pursuit of peace – v. 15b
It is clear that Paul is telling us that our love for our Savior will not only impact how we walk with God but how we walk with one another.
Eugene Peterson captures the spirit of what Paul is emphasizing here:
“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.” – Colossians 3:15 (MSG)
Concerning his pursuit of peace in his relationship with others, pastor John Piper makes this observation:
“A peacemaker longs for peace, and works for peace, and sacrifices for peace. But the attainment of peace may not come. Romans 12:18 is very important at this point. There Paul says, ‘If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.’ That is the goal of a peacemaker.” – John Piper
When Jesus gave us the Great Commandment, He made it clear that a love for God will be revealed by a love for others.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) says “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Because a committed Christian will love others as he loves himself, he will want others to know the blessing and benefit of being at peace with God. Which is why he is passionate about the pursuit of peace in his relationships with others – especially his brothers and sisters in Christ.
John 17:21 (NASB) says “that they may all be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
“(In John 17:21) Jesus is stating (that) we cannot expect the world to believe the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.” – Francis Schaeffer
A committed Christian’s love for his Savior will be revealed by the fact that he seeks to maintain peace in his relationship with God and with his brothers, so that those who do not know Christ might come to know peace with God, as well.
But a love for Christ will also make a difference in . . .
- My worship – v. 16
If a believer’s focus in life is on expressing adoration for his Savior, how will that be revealed in his worship of God? His worship will be:
- An informed worship – v. 16a
Because the committed Christian spends time in prayer and the Word habitually, he will worship God in an informed manner.
“We must worship in truth. Worship is not just an emotional exercise but a response of the heart built on truth about God. ‘The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).’ Worship that is not based on God’s Word is but an emotional encounter with oneself.” – Erwin Lutzer
The focus of the worship of the committed Christian will be on God, not on himself. Because he is growing in his knowledge of God through his study of the Word, his worship is a growing expressing of how in awe of God is truly is.
- An interactive worship – v. 16b
We have already talked about the committed Christians desire to pursue the way of peace in his relationships with others. One of the ways in which he does this is by worshiping with his fellow believers.
“Sin is almost the only thing we have in common with everyone else, and so at the feet of Jesus where sin is cleansed is the only place where we can be one. Real oneness conjures up for us the picture of two or more sinners together at Calvary.” – Roy Hession
- An inclusive worship – v. 16c
Paul mentions three categories of songs we might use in worship (Ephesians 5:19) addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,:
1) Psalms – Scripture-based songs – “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Rev. 4:8); “I Will Enter His Gates” (Psalm 100:4); “Seek Ye First” (Matthew 6:33); “Come, Now Is the Time to Worship” (Phil. 2:9-11); “As The Deer” (Psalm 42)
2) Hymns – Theology-based songs (songs sung about God) – “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God;” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness;” “Amazing Grace;”
3) Spiritual Songs – Testimony-based songs (songs sung to God) – “Blessed Assurance;” “How Great Thou Art;” “I Love You, Lord;” “Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone”
The idea here is that the committed Christian is so in love with his Savior that he delights in expressing that adoration in whatever way he possibly can.
That is not to say he doesn’t have any preferences when it comes to music and singing, but the focus of his worship is not on his preferences in music but on his passion for God.
But a love for Christ will also make a difference in . . .
- My work – v. 17
Because of his love for the Lord, a committed Christian is concerned that he honors the Lord in whatever he does.
A cartoon showed a guidance counselor going over the results of an aptitude test with a student. As he reviewed the results he was saying to the student before him, “The results of your test indicate that you should seek employment with a company where your father has an influential position.”
Well, for the child of God, wherever we are working or whatever we are doing, we are employed with a company where our Father has an influential position! And out of love for our Savior, we should always seek to do our very best to honor Him! As many have put it, God is my boss!
One common thread through-out this passage is gratitude (v. 15 – “And be thankful;” v. 16 – “with gratitude in your hearts to God;” v. 17 – “giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”).
Gratitude is an expression on love and adoration; and what is the basis of our love for God? His love for us.
1 John 4:10 (Amplified) says “In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”
1 John 4:19 (Amplified) says “We love Him, because He first loved us.”
“The foundation of our love for the Lord lies in the recognition of His holiness, our sinfulness, and His grace…those who are forgiven much, love much.” – Sinclair Ferguson
A committed Christian adores his Savior. Do you adore your Savior? How is that being revealed in your walk, your worship, your work?
“The measure of our love to God is to love Him without measure.” – Bernard of Clairvaux
How might you need to grow in your love for Christ in the days to come?
Lets pray- Father we love you. You are truly worthy of our adoration. Lord we all have areas that we need to grow in. I thank you right now for sending your son in the ultimate example of your love for us. I pray in all that we say and do our love for you would show though. Lord help us to be the men and women you would have us to be. Father help us to walk and worship and work in a manner pleasing to you. Lord I pray you would help us to commit to a deeper relationship with you. I thank you for all you do. In Jesus name I pray AMEN.