Put It On - Apples of Gold - July 15, 2013 vi
Apples of Gold
Radio Script for July 15, 2013
“Put It On”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
In the summer, it's always hot in Florida, so the weather's not a factor. Instead I look at my calendar (Where am I going? Who am I going to see?) and then I decide what to wear.
And you know how it goes. Unless you are the Maytag repairman, you stand in front of your clothes and now you have to decide what to put on.
Well as Christians, there are certain spiritual things that the Bible tells us to put on; and in the same way that we have to make a decision about what clothes to put on, we have to make a decision, a conscious decision, to put on these Biblical things.
These are not things that God is just magically going to do for us. That's why we have these specific instructions, in Colossians chapter three. It is our responsibility to proactively put on these things.
Okay, let's begin at Colossians chapter three verse twelve, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on...” and then comes a short but powerful list of garments you might say, clothing that we are to put on.
First on the list is “tender mercies.” Put on tender mercies. What on earth are tender mercies? That's the New King James Version. The New Living Translation says “tender-hearted mercy,” or the NIV says “compassion.”
Some people are naturally more compassionate than others, but we are all told to put on compassion. It means we should do more of this: pay more attention to the hardships of others and sympathize with their suffering. Whether it comes naturally or not, we must consciously decide each day to put on compassion; to put on tender mercies.
Next on the list is kindness. Who is the kindest person you can think of? Maybe it's a generalization of a kindly old grandfather. Well, put that on. Put on that kindness. In other words, act like that kindly old grandfather, or some other picture of kindness you can think of.
Now switch your thinking back to real garments for a minute. A lot of people look at fashion magazines or ads or websites to help them decide what to wear. Some people just look at the mannequins in the store, but most of us end up looking at an example to help us decide what to wear.
The same holds true for the things the Bible tells us to put on. When we are told to put on kindness, we can look at the examples of others, and do what they do. So just think of the examples of kindness you've seen in others, then put on that garment for yourself. Put on kindness.
We're looking at Colossians chapter three, verse twelve, and next on the list of things we are to put on is humility. We make a conscious decision to humble ourselves, to think less of ourselves, to get ourselves off the throne and think more about others...with the kindness and mercy we've already talked about.
Next on the list is: put on meekness. When I think of meek I think of mild. I think of being lowly, and deferential. I know that's not the American way! We are loud and proud, yet God's word tells us to put on meekness. We turn the other cheek. We take insults. We don't strike back. “What?” Yes, that is meekness. “But I won't be a doormat!” You don't have to be a doormat, but we all must put on meekness and humility, “considering others as better than ourselves...” like Jesus. (Philippians 2:3)
The only “garment” on Paul's list that he goes into much detail about is this next one: longsuffering. He says, “...put on...longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
I like the phrase “bearing with one another.” It means hanging in there with other people, even when you'd rather bail on them. Instead, put on longsuffering. Stand in front of your spiritual closet each day and make a conscious decision to put on the garment of longsuffering, and bear with people who are hard to bear!
And finally comes the cornerstone of the list. Colossians 3:14 says, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Love may not come naturally to you, but we are all called to make a conscious effort to put on love, put it on like a garment – not waiting to feel it, not waiting for someone to deserve it.
And then a wonderful thing happens. God says love “is the bond of perfection.” Do you want more bonding in your marriage? Put on love. Do you want more bonding and unity in your church? Put on love. Do you want more of a team atmosphere at work? Put on love. Do you want more bonding and togetherness in your family? Put on love, the bond of perfection.
These things don't come naturally, or we wouldn't have to be told to do them. It's like looking good when we get dressed in the morning. It takes conscious effort each day.
And the same is true with this spiritual list in Colossians chapter three. We make a conscious effort each day to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, and above all these things, love.
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May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2013 Doug Apple
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
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