Isaiah 37-38 Colossians 3
“You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God. In the new life there is no difference between Greeks and Jews, those who are circumcised and those who are not circumcised, or people who are foreigners, or Scythians. There is no difference between slaves and free people. But Christ is in all believers, and Christ is all that is important.” (Colossians 3:10-11 NCV)
Living as a follower of Christ isn’t always easy. Paul not only pointed out the kinds of things they shouldn’t be doing as believers, including sexual immorality, engaging in evil behavior, and doing things to hurt others, among other equally bad behaviors, he pointed out that the Colossians, and anyone reading this letter, needed to see their lives becoming more like Christ. When we do that, we begin seeing all people as equal. That was a radical idea back in those days as all of those groups were at odds with each other. Paul’s message was clear: we are all one in Jesus. The current phrase that people use is that all the ground at the foot of the cross is level.
You can’t follow Christ and believe that somehow, you’re superior to other people. In the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus, even in the torment of hell, the rich guy wanted Lazarus to serve him. When those of us who believe come before Jesus at the end of time, we’ll all be standing before Him the same way – as sinners saved by His grace. We’ll fall to our knees as we worship the One who saved us. In the meanwhile, our job is to live like Jesus did on this earth and show everybody His love. True knowledge of God that brings new life loves all people. As the song says, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…” If people are precious in God’s sight how can we do anything but love them. Sure, I get frustrated with people at times. I get angry when people do evil things. But the best rule to remember is that God allows us to love the people He loves and hate those whom He hates. Since God so loved the world (the whole world) it doesn’t leave anyone for us to hate.
Lord, it would be so easy to look down at people who don’t follow You and show it by doing evil things. It would be so easy to hate those who work at cross purposes with Your desires for the world. When I tend towards acting like that, remind me that one of the purposes of the cross was to offer forgiveness to all people because of Your love for them. Help me to love them like You do.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.