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Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Garmented by God's Grace: INTERPRETATION (Course 2 of 3)

Little Shannon Lee, about 2 years old
While we wait for our order to arrive, let's discuss some of these delicious, menu items!

Is God's message to the Colossians, written by Paul, relevant to us? Let's disect it to deepen our understanding of its purpose and design. Just the mention of disect hearkens me back to Biology lab at Texas A&M, complete with frogs and formaldehyde. Hmmm. Perhaps I should picture disecting that delectable Peanut Butter pie I just enjoyed for my sister-in-law's birthday instead (chocolate crumb crust, chocolate cheesecake, peanut butter mousse, chocolate ganache, chocolate chips, crumbled Reese's PB cup, light whipped cream maybe w/ a hint of caramel...)! Yes, we're dining together here, so Peanut Butter pie it is! We will develop our interpretations from the ten observations we made during Course 1. Let's go!

"1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. 3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. 7You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit." Colossians 1:1-8
1) My Purpose and Calling: God wrote Colossians through the apostle Paul's hands whom he called for His purposes. By God's will, Paul wrote for Him. Do you know God's purpose and call for your life? Do you know how to find His will for your life?

2) My Character: Paul wrote to the Colossian believers in Jesus. If I have placed my faith in Jesus, this letter speaks also to me! Using two adjectives "holy" and "faithful," Paul described the Colossian believers. What adjectives currently describe me? Which ones do I wish would speak of me?

3) My Attitude: Paul demonstrated a gracious attitude toward the Colossian believers. He lived at peace with them and genuinely felt thankful for them. Not only that, but Paul also prayed for the Colossians consistently. He took time to notice them and encourage them. What attitudes do I display toward my brothers and sisters in Christ? Am I harsh or loving toward them? Do I let them know I am thankful for them? Do I spend time praying for them? How do I encourage my brothers and sisters in the Lord?

4) My Relationships: Faith in Jesus and love for God's family members results from our assured, heavenly hope. If my hope rests in Jesus Christ, two attributes will comment on my life: 1)my growing faith in Jesus (I will trust Him more and more) and 2) my increasing extension of God's love for my brothers and sisters in Christ through my heart and hands (I will show God's love to them more and more).

5) My Security: Believers in Jesus possess future hope HERE and NOW! Does the way I live my life in the present reflect my unwavering hope in the future Jesus secured for me?

6) My Resources: We find hope in the gospel of Christ that is called the "word of truth." Where do I go to find hope? What sources do I consult to assure me?

7) My Personal Growth and Influence: This gospel spreads across the globe and further bears fruit and growth in people. How does the message of the gospel bear fruit in my life and cause me to grow? In what ways does my own changed and transforming life influence others for the good and glory of God?

8) God's Gift to Me: Checkpoint: The gospel of Christ is SIMPLE. It can be understood the moment we hear it. Have I heard and understood the simple gospel of Christ?

9) Receiving God's Gift for Me: Checkpoint: The gospel of Christ presents the message of God's grace and truth. Do I understand God's grace for me? Have I received the gift of His truth?

10) Sharing and Showing God's Gift wtih Others: The gospel of Christ passes on by word of mouth. Committed Christ-followers share the good news with others. How do I share the good news of my Jesus with others? What new ways would I like to commit to showing Him to others?

So what do we need to "get" about this grace thing?
Very simply, grace is a gift--a gift from God to us. It cannot be earned or achieved. It cannot be bought because it has already been paid for. The precious price of grace was purchased by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. If we could merit this grace by our own abilities, we would boast about our accomplishment. No surprise to God, He chose to make grace a matter of His provision for us, not a wage we can earn for Him. God's word says, on the contrary, that no amount of human work, or charity, or benevolence, or church-going, or prayer-saying, or helping-handing can achieve our salvation ticket to heaven. No. Only by God's grace, His undeserved and loving gift to us, may we possess the right to heaven.
"8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

We must choose to receive God's gift of grace, however. I must choose to receive God's gift of forgiveness for all my mistakes through the blood of Jesus that washes over me and declares this child, "Not guilty!" Let me tell you, I HAVE chosen to receive God's gift of grace to wash over my sin and produce new life inside me. Therefore, my God garments my life with His grace. That is why I write to you, dear friends, that you may also robe yourself in the splendor and wonder of this timeless wardrobe.

I invite you to join with me for our third course: APPLICATION. We will shop God's word and fashion show through some of His most alluring styles. As for now, remember to KNOW, GROW in, and SHOW the grace of God in your comings and goings. Yes, my friends, Colossians 1:1-8 is relevant to us and can powerfully produce a different life and different style that can make a difference in ourselves, our husbands, our children, our communities, and our world!

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