Reading: Colossians 3: 1-11
Paul calls for a transformation from our old self that is of the world into a new self that is made in Christ’s image. To accomplish this change we need the help of the Holy Spirit. We cannot make this transition on our own. It can be something we desire and even something we feel led to, but the power to transform human lives into eternal lives rests in God’s hands alone.
God’s love and grace are always reaching out to us, ever seeking to draw us closer to that love and grace. We are born with an innate sense of God and good in us, with a spark of the divine, so to speak. As we naturally see God’s love in the world, we do so through the spark of the divine that is within all humanity.
Early on life, God’s grace begins working in our lives. John Wesley would call this prevenient grace, the grace that comes before. It’s that grace on the doorstep of our life, inviting us into a relationship with God. As we step through that door and begin to grow in our faith, this grace becomes justifying grace – that grace that helps us see the world as God sees it and to live our lives by God’s ways and will. As we mature in our faith, God’s sanctifying grace begins to work in our lives, drawing us ever closer to Jesus, ever closer to perfection. Although we never reach perfection in our earthly bodies, it is ever the goal.
To accomplish all this, Paul calls us to “put to death” all that is inside of us that does not draw us closer to God. It is emotions, desires, drives, idols, friends, places, habits, … all that stands between us and God. It is through faith in God and through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives that we continue on our journey of faith, step by step, ever drawing closer to our Lord. May God strengthen us all on our journey.