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The Scriptorium

Put on Love

But you'll have to work at it. Colossians 3.12-15

Opening Prayer: Psalm 5.7, 8
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

Sing Psalm 5.7, 8

(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
O Lord, Your lovingkindness escorts me in this place.
I bow before Your highness and praise Your glorious grace!
In righteous ways You guide me; Your pathway I will know.
No good will be denied me as I with Jesus go.

Read Colossians 3.12-15

1. What above all must we “put on”?

2. If we put on the things Paul commands, where will that leave us?

Let’s remember that Paul regarded the believers in Colossae as faithful saints who excelled in loving one another (1.2, 4). Even so, here he encouraged them to put on even more of those qualities which characterize the Lord Jesus in glory, each of which is an expression of love (vv. 12-14). This is how those who have been chosen by God and are loved by Him seek to live (v. 12). We can use the virtues mentioned here to assess the state of our own love and seek the Lord to help us grow where we find ourselves falling short.

Love is the “bond of perfection” (v. 14). It bonds us to the Lord, bonds us to one another, and bonds us to those who need to know the Lord. To grow in love, we must set our minds on Jesus, exalted in glory (vv. 1-3); clear our souls of every wicked and selfish indulgence (vv. 5-11); and take up those specific practices (vv. 12, 13) which help us grow in love.

God wants His peace to rule in our hearts (v. 15). We can “let” this be the case by walking the path God has marked out for us, the path of love. Paul also calls us to “be thankful” (v. 15). Usually, he commands us to “give thanks” and we should do so “in everything” (Phil. 4.6, 7; 1 Thess. 5.18). But we should strive for more than merely giving thanks. We should seek to be thankful people, people who give thanks because we are thankful. When the love of Christ is increasing in us, and the peace of God enfolds and sustains us, being thankful will be just who we are.

Let’s aim for that.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Wouldn’t it be nice if putting on love was as easy as putting on a shirt?
Or dousing ourselves with after shave or perfume?
Or donning a hat?
That would be nice, but it isn’t actually possible.

Putting on love is an act of obedience.
Determined, with true striving, and effort.

Before we can attempt this, God gives us some words of encouragement.
They consist of this:
1. We are His elect people. (vs.12)
2. We are holy. (vs. 12)
3. We are beloved. (vs. 12)

This is amazing information.

Now here is the checklist of what putting on love consists of:
1. Put on tender mercies. (vs. 12)
2. Put on kindness. (vs. 12)
3. Put on humility. (vs. 12)
4. Put on meekness. (vs. 12)
5. Put on longsuffering. (vs.12)
6. We must bear with one another. (vs.13)
7. We must forgive one another. (vs. 13)

And the reason we must forgive one another is because Christ forgave us.
He also said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14.15).
And, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15.14).

Truly, if we love Jesus, first and foremost, we will be inclined to put on love for others.
We will be filled with His Holy Spirit who will enable us to accomplish this noble and necessary task.
With His power we will put love on! Without it we will be stuck with shirts, after shave, and hats.

1. Putting on God’s love leads to enjoying God’s peace. Explain.

2. Why do we have to work at putting on love? Why doesn’t it just come “naturally” to us?

3. We don’t work at putting on love to be saved but because we are saved. Explain.

Now what Paul wishes to say is that there is no benefit in those things, for all those things fall apart, unless they are done with love. This is the love that binds them all together. Whatever good thing it is that you mention, if love be absent, it is nothing, it melts away. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on Colossians 8

Let Your love abound in me today, O Lord, as I…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 5.1-6, 11, 12

Seek the Lord, that He might fill you with love for the day ahead and give you joy in serving Him.

Sing Psalm 5.1-6, 11, 12

(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
O Lord, attend and hear me, consider how I groan.
Receive my cries and near be, and love me as Your own.
By morning, Lord I seek You, for You will hear my voice;
My every need You speak to, and make my soul rejoice!

In sin You take no pleasure; no evil dwells with You.
Vain boasts You will not treasure, nor those who boasting do.
Sin kindles Your hot anger, You crush all those who lie;
the violent live in danger of Your all-searching eye.

Let those rejoice who seek You and shelter ‘neath Your wing.
Their tongues shall rise to speak to Your praise; Your grace they sing.
Your people You will bless, Lord, all those who to You yield;
preserve them with Your best Word, and guard them like a shield.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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