Thursday, December 20, 2012

Scripture Thursday ~ Put on Love



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

Have you noticed that Christmas trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes?  Some are very tall, others are short, or they're thin or thick.  But…..they all have something in common – they are a tree and they are green. 

Christmas trees as you know are adorned with decorations / ornaments.  A Christmas tree in your home would be quite plain if it weren’t for the ornaments and lights. 


Like there are a variety of trees, there are a variety of ornaments ~ handmade, store bought, shiny, dull, broken, sentimental, priceless, and more. 

We are like the Christmas trees, all a variety of shapes and sizes.  In Colossians 3:12 we’re told to:

clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience

In other words, these characteristics and virtues are our ornaments.   As Christian women, God wants us to adorn ourselves with these qualities.



COMPASSION
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. 

Lamentations 3:21-23

KINDNESS
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another,
even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

HUMILITY
   Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
  Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 16:18-19

free for personal use or sharing ~ click for larger size

GENTLENESS
He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.

Isaiah 40:11

PATIENCE
But those who wait on the LORD
shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint
.
Isaiah 40:31

The closer we draw to God, the easier it will be to adorn ourselves with these qualities and characteristics.  How can we draw closer?   Two of the most important ways are through reading and studying the Bible, and communicating to Him through prayer.  In doing so, these characteristics will become us by default.

FORGIVENESS
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger,
and clamour, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

When we harbor resentment and hatred in our hearts, we’re hurting ourselves and those that love us.  Healing can’t begin until you reach a point of forgiveness. 


And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

Colossians 3:14

LOVE – binds all of these virtues together in PERFECT unity.  When I think of the Christmas Tree I think of the lights being the LOVE that binds it all together.  Without the lights, the ornaments are dull and flat.   In Sunday School we sing This little light of Mine, I’m going let it shine.  


Without love, these virtues are useless.

Love
Greater love has no one than this,
than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13

I think we’ve all been affected in one way or another by the recent school shootings in Connecticut.  Twenty little children whose lives were taken in such a cruel way, are now safe in the arms of Jesus.    There were six staff members, who laid down their lives to protect the children and their co-workers. 

My friend Donna ~ a schoolteacher, mother, and grandmother said this to me:
We do all stand together - as mothers and fathers - in the vast sea of children. Both you and I and most others would defend a child, even if it meant our death. I think that is the image of God built into us from the beginning. His fatherhood is perfect, He was willing to defend us even to the death of His own son.


 We don’t need money to give the kind of gifts this verse speaks of. 
We can generously give:

compassion
kindness
humility
gentleness
patience
forgiveness and
love


As I'm sure you are doing, please continue to pray for the families, staff, students, emergency workers and community of Newtown Connecticut. 

Merry Christmas my friends and blessings to you and  yours.  Here is a printable I made for you with today's verse.  Free for personal use or sharing.  It can be printed on any colored or patterned cardstock. 

click for larger size
free for personal use or sharing

~ Abby ~

11 comments:

Vee said...

It has been one of the most difficult weeks in American history in my lifetime. Thank you for your precious words...a Christian woman is most beautiful when she wears the attributes you describe. Thank you, as always, for your generosity!

Mary said...

Thank you so much! Such beautiful pictures and a lovely message! Merry Christmas!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for all that you shared in this beautiful post. I needed to read this.
Merry Christmas to you as well!

Hugs,
Stephanie

GCgirl said...

Beautiful devotion! I am thankful for "knowing" you even if only by internet. You are a sweet aroma of Christ :0)

Jos Family Creates said...

What an amazing message!! I really liked how you used the Christmas tree as an example, especially for Love. Thank you so much Abby! ~Jo Ann

MaxineD said...

Thank you once more for your wise words and the demonstration of your own gentle spirit.
Praying that all is well with you and yours this Christmas.
Blessings
Maxine

What Joy Is Mine said...

Abby...what a sweet reminder for the Christian woman's heart. I'm thankful I stopped by today. Blessings sweet friend.

Simply Shelley said...

Put on love....yes...blessings and a very Merry Christmas dear friend.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Beautiful post Abby (as always, inspiring!).
May His light shine upon you and yours on this Christmas and always,

Linda Carson said...

I have this verse posted in my clothes closet as I'm getting dressed.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your site. I was in need of some of God's word today. And in such a lovely vintage manner, i am blessed by this sharing!
Jenny Boerding