Several things jumped out at me this week. Two of those are found in verses 14 and 16.
3:14 - Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love...
As in, let your outer garment be Love as it holds all the rest together and encompasses all the other virtues of the new man.
MSG - And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
2. 3:16 - Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being]....
We will talk more about this Saturday. I can not offer any clever or well thought out discussion questions for this week.
I feel I have failed you in that way.
3:13 says: bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.
I struggle with resentments and unforgiveness. Resentments are something we are told to rid ourselves of in the first sections of chapter 3. Forgiveness is something we are told to put on. The Lord has done a pretty neat work this week as I have thought/prayed through this. I'll share more Saturday. I ran across this and thought it might be worth pondering as we prepare our hearts and minds for Saturday's discussion. In light of Christ's forgiveness and our "staggering debt", it should make us more generous in forgiving others:
· God holds back His anger a very long time when we sin against Him. He bears with us a long time, even when we sorely provoke Him.
· God reaches out to bad people to bring forgiveness to them; the habit of man is to not reconcile if the offending person is a person of bad character.
· God makes the first move towards us in forgiveness; the habit of man is to only be reconciled if the offending party craves forgiveness and makes the first move.
· God forgives often knowing that we will sin again, sometimes in the exact same way. It is the habit of man to forgive only if the offending party solemnly promises to never do the wrong again.
· God’s forgiveness is so complete and glorious that He grants adoption to those former offenders. In the habit of man, even when forgiveness is offered, he will not lift again the former offender to a place of high status and partnership.
· God bore all the penalty for the wrong we did against Him. In the habit of man, when he is wronged, he will not forgive unless the offender agrees to bear all the penalty for the wrong done.
· God keeps reaching out to man for reconciliation even when man refuses Him again and again. In the habit of man, one will not continue to offer reconciliation if it is rejected once.
· God requires no probationary period to receive His forgiveness; in the habit of man, one will not restore an offender without a period of probation.
· God’s forgiveness offers complete restoration and honor; in the habit of man, we feel we should be complimented when we merely tolerate those who sin against us.
· Once having forgiven, God puts His trust in us and invites us back to work with Him as co-laborers. In the habit of man, one will not trust someone who has formerly wronged him.
Looking forward to meeting Saturday!