Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hidden in Christ

Colossians 3:3

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

RayMcDSunday we talked about Submitting to God in our Sunday message at First United Methodist Church of Laurel. You can listen to the sermon here. The message was part four of a five part series titled 5 Themes From James.

Some key verses from this message were as follows.

Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

James 4:7-8 – 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Today’s passage in this devotional thought is a good follow up to the message from Sunday. It reminds us that we are called to die to self (deny self – the carnal nature) and be reborn in Christ (the spiritual self or nature). We referred to this passage as well – about the new nature.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Here’s today’s passage in partial context.

Colossians 3:1–17 – 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 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. 17 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.

When our children were young – I served a country church in southern Anne Arundel County. I served in that community for 24 years and my family had lived in that community for my whole lifetime. I say this because I was well known in the community. When my children were growing up and I went to their schools – I wanted to be known as my daughter’s father – not the pastor of a local church. I wanted my identity to flow through them. It was their world I was entering and I didn’t want to focus to be on me – but rather on them. I hope this example helps. At the very least I hope that it doesn’t take away from the Biblical truth.

In a small way this is an example of how it should be with Christ. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are to be in His world – we are to leave our world behind (deny self) and follow after Him (the old has gone the new has come) – we are to be known as His followers.

How do people know us? Are we hidden in Christ? If people look at us – will they see Jesus? That is our prayer today – that more and more people will see Jesus in our lives. That the old self will be hidden in Christ and that Christ will be seen!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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October 10, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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