Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV)
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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
In an effort to know her new second grade students better, the teacher handed out a worksheet to fill in. One particular question asked the students to describe themselves in one sentence. They were quickly
handed in. Some answered that they were a soccer player, oldest in the family, new to Lincoln, a good singer. The teacher stopped in her tracks when she read one little boy’s succinct yet profound statement. He wrote simply, “I am a child of God.” “He gets it!”, I thought. My grandson knows he has been chosen by God to live a meaningful life with purpose.
Pastor Greg shared a story in last Sunday’s sermon about the shepherd carrying a lost sheep on his shoulders. When asked how sheep get lost, he simply replied that they nibble, nibble, and nibble their way away from the flock until they are lost. In this culture of money and consumerism, how many of us nibble away until we find ourselves lost? Buying this, acquiring that, indulging ourselves in meaningless things and activities.
I married into a family of two sons. My mother-in-law embraced me as the daughter she never had. Her loving kindness to me and our family shone through in so many ways. When she passed four years ago, I was honored to give a tribute to her life at her memorial service. I stressed three main points: She knew who she was, she knew what she was about, and she knew where she was going.
She knew she was a child of God. There was no doubt. She knew what she was about. As in today’s scripture, she clothed herself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. She cared for those she loved. And she was grateful for what she had. She knew where she was going – to her heavenly home. Her peaceful passing was proof of her trust in God’s promise to her.
How many of us can live up to those three statements.? God made us. He gave us life. We are his children and he wants us to carry songs of gratitude in our hearts by reflecting his love and doing good wherever we go. We don’t have to be lost. We can nibble our way back by grateful living. Nibble…nibble…nibble.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for giving us the precious gift of life. Clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, patience and love that binds it all together. Guide us to live a path of grateful living. Amen.
Written by Janece Nelson
Janece and husband, Mike, have been members of Sheridan for eleven years. Janece is a retired mathematics instructor teaching at the middle school and college level. They are blessed with two children and three grandchildren (ages 7-13). Janece finds her greatest joy in spending time with her family and friends. Her passion is writing devotions for patients in hospitals and rehabs she sees every Monday as a Sheridan hospital visitor. As a Teammate she also mentors girls at Boys Town. Janece credits Faith Builders and Companions in Christ for her spiritual growth.