Encouragement for Today - Sept. 15, 2006


September 15, 2006


Encouragement for Today


“All Dressed Up” Part 2

Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member


Key Verse:

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)



In the South, we have what’s called good “Southern Graces.” These graces, which include hospitality and greeting everyone you pass by, are expected behavior around here. For example, no matter how old you are in the South, you are responsible to address others with “Miss,” “Mrs.” or” Mr.” Not doing so is considered disrespectful, and a slap in the face to our southern heritage.


Yesterday we talked about the beautiful graces of the Christian life. Because of these graces, the believer has responsibilities before God and others. We must put off our old “grave clothes” and put on our “grace clothes.” In our key verse, Paul names some of the “good graces” we are responsible to wear.


Put on tender mercies. Compassion is something we should wear constantly. It’s not something we turn off and on like a TV set. At times, I’m guilty of “turning on” my compassion for strangers or people at church faster than I am for my own family. Compassion is an attitude of the heart. It considers others as much as you would yourself, at all times.


Put on Kindness. We have been saved because of God’s kindness through Jesus Christ. In turn, we ought to show kindness to others. King David displays a beautiful picture of kindness. Because of his love for his deceased friend Jonathan, King David chose Jonathan’s crippled son to be part of his own family; the royal family. In a similar way, we are all cripples who are invited through kindness into God’s kingdom and His forever family.


Put on humility. Humility is not seeing yourself as unworthy. It’s having the right estimate of oneself compared to God. I think of Moses. While the people saw Moses call down plagues, part the Red Sea and set the people free, Moses knew who was really doing those things through him and gave God the proper credit.


Put on gentleness. Meekness is not weakness. It’s power under control. A powerful horse whose will has been “broken” is still powerful. He has simply learned to manage his power for good.


Put on patience. Anger can be a sign of holy character, but it’s wrong to get angry over wrong things for the wrong reasons. Patient people have a long fuse, where a short-tempered person flies off the handle quickly. A patient person can put up with unfavorable circumstances, and doesn’t retaliate even when provoked by others. Which kind of fuse do you have, long or short?


Put on forgiveness. It’s not enough for the Christian to be kind, endure sorrow, and not retaliate. The believer must also be willing to forgive. When we fail to forgive, it can set us up to commit other sins. Once we choose to forgive, as an act of obedience, the heart follows and we reflect the image of Christ in our lives.


Put on love. The most important virtue we can put on is love. Love holds all the other graces together and creates a beautiful picture of Christ’s character in us. Love is a sign of spiritual maturity and confirmation that we belong to Christ. We know we belong to God when we have love in our hearts for others. When love rules in our lives, all else falls into harmony.


It’s time to clean out your closet this weekend. Toss out your “grave clothes” and get dressed up in your “grace clothes.” Then, be prepared to receive compliments on your new attire!


My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, thank you for providing the grace I need to live with these attributes. May my life be a reflection of your holiness, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

Spend time today dressing yourself in “grace cloths.” Remember what you’re wearing when temptation comes your way.


Reflection Points:

How often do you wear your grace clothes? (every day? only at church?)


How can these attributes of grace help you to live for God and witness to others?


Which grave clothes do you need to toss in the garbage today?


Power Verses:

Galatians 5: 19-25, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (NIV)


Additional Resources:

Micca Campbell's Testimony DVD


The Ultimate Makeover  by Sharon Jaynes


Cleaning UP the Clutter  by Cindie Barnes


Originally published Friday, 15 September 2006.