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Summary: Jesus would love for us to be his servants, to do his will above our own, and to direct the steps of our lives. But we must allow him to do so by surrendering our lives to him.

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Letting Jesus Live Through Us

(Colossians 3:14-17)

1. It was a bad week for criminals, based on a couple of UPI stories:

“A Texas fugitive who was wanted on bank fraud charges was captured in Denver after he plummeted 17 stories down a trash chute while trying to evade police.”

2. And then, “A Dallas teenager was arrested for burglary after he allegedly broke into a police officer's home and dropped his wallet as he fled the scene, officials said.”

3. Whether our motives are good or evil, we humans are good at messing things up.

4. I have known Christians who have been saved for decades but finally become serious in their old age, after years and years of doing things their own way.

5. We believers also botch up our lives, miss God’s direction, or trade the most important for good things that are important, but not most important.

Main Idea: Jesus would love for us to be his servants, to do his will above our own, and to direct the steps of our lives. But we must allow him to do so by surrendering our lives to him.

Paul urges us in this same direction in many ways. In today’s text, he asks us to get out of the way and let the Lord take charge in two ways.

I. Let Messiah's PEACE Umpire Your Mind (15)

In Ephesians and other passages, Paul attributes to the Holy Spirit what he here attributes to Jesus Christ and his Word. Why? Because the Colossian heresy undervalued Jesus and said he was not enough. Since the persons of the Trinity work together in the entire process of salvation and sanctification, it is not crucial to know which Person of the Trinity does what. Jesus rules us by his Spirit, but what matters most is that Jesus rules; once we understand that, we are ready for details.

A. This is something we must both nurture and ALLOW

Nurturing peace takes effort, and one powerful resource is prayer.

When Herod Agrippa had James killed and put Peter in prison, the church met at the home of John Mark’s family and prayed and prayed. When an angel released Peter from prison and he showed up, they marveled. They found not only peace, but an answer to prayer (Acts 12); Phil. 4:4-8

B. The word “rule” really means to umpire or JUDGE

1. We must think and decide from a position of peace, not panic nor pressure

2. Some see this as a way God leads, a sense of peace; this can be dangerous

3. There is a peace, however, we experience, when we live in accord with God’s Word

4. We want to continuously be at peace with God, not turning away to the right or left

C. This rule of peace is to be extended to our conduct within the BODY

• We must place a high premium on peace and be hesitant to break the peace (not lightly)

• As we saw last week, we have to learn how to put up with others and to confront when needed

D. This peace is AMPLIFIED by thankfulness

Paul literally harps (runs into the ground) the subject of thankfulness; it is a primary, central way to worship God. The holiday of Thanksgiving can do us a dis-service; we seasonalize thankfulness!

II. Let Messiah's WORD Overflow Within You (16-17)

A. This is something we must both nurture and ALLOW

B. TEACHING and ADMONISHING one another in wisdom (godly)

The Jewish people had been taken captive to Babylon because of their compromises with paganism. About 50,000 Jews returned after the 70 years were up to rebuild the Temple. When Ezra the godly priest arrives 80 years later, he finds that many of the Jews had intermarried with pagans again. He and Nehemiah confronted the people and Ezra read & taught the Torah. The people needed the Word. (Nehemiah 8); then, after a long dose of the word, they praised and sang (Nehemiah 9)

C. By means of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual SONGS

1. Christians have joy, and joy and music go together. There is no music is an Islamic service.

2. This is the premiere passage on church music, yet it is often ignored completely.

3. Music can be a means to worship, clearly, by any definition. But that is not the only purpose of Christian music; here, we see, it is to teach and admonish.

4. Peter O’Brien, whose commentary on Colossians is considered the best modern conservative commentary by many, including myself, comments, “Recent study … has shown that within early Christian hymns both didactic and hortatory elements [are] featured.” P. 209

5. Didactic means teaching, hortatory means admonishing and encouraging.

6. So when we sing, “His eye is on the sparrow,” some people would say that isn’t worship. But it is admonishing us to stay strong in trials, and it is in line with what Paul says we should sing.

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