Life is short. Life will never "get back to normal." So, we need to get living life now, not later. Many urgent things often entangle us, so that we are distracted from paying attention to the most important things. Many foolish and hurtful things also drain us and take up our time, so that we can not do the things that we should do and could do. "Carpe diem" - "seize the day" is what we could use for a title of this message. If we do what we should be doing, we won't have so much time and energy for what we should not be doing (Galatians 5:16-17). If we give time and strength to the bad impulses of our life, we won't have the time and strength to fulfill our godly calling in Christ (Philippians 3:13-15). Christian living begins with new life in Christ. From there we learn to give up bad things for good things, but we must not stop there. Christian living is perfected in giving up good things for the best things. Let's examine Colossians 3:1-17 to see how we can "seize the day."
Colossians 3:1-4 - More Heavenly Mindedness
Since we are crucified with Christ and risen to walk in newness of life (Galatians 2:20), we should have our mind on the heavenly, eternal things of Christ and not the agenda of desires and ambitions of this world (Romans 6:6-13; 12:1-3; I John 2:15-17). The phrase "so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good" is a statement that can easily be misused.
Colossians 3:5-9 - Mortification of Sinful Desires and Practices
"Mortify" means "to put to death"; "to stop something from functioning." It is a life-long process of killing off bad habits and desires. It is not done all-at-once. It is not done by mere will-power. It requires prayerfully seeking the Lord, through His Word, continually and relying on His Spirit for a fruitful life (Romans 8:1-13; 13:11-14; Ephesians 5:1-21; II Peter 1:2-11 cp Galatians 5:16-26).
Colossians 3:10-17 - Motions of the New Man
When we were born again and became followers of Christ, the "old man" was crucified. We are to put the ways of the "old man" off, like discarded clothing. We are also to put on the ways of the "new man" (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:17-24). We thereby cooperate with Christ, who is living in us and through us. Colossians 3:10-17 tells us what that "new man" is supposed to be like (Colossians 3:10 - 4:6 cp. Ephesians 4:25-32; 5:14 - 6:9). Let's consider three things that are central to Christian living:
- Put on Love (Colossians 3:12-14) - We are naked without Christ's love operating through us. See I Corinthians 13:1-8a; II Corinthians 5:14-15; I John 4:7-21.
- Practice Peace (Colossians 3:15 - We must have a practical relationship with the body of Christ. See Romans 12:1-21; Philippians 2:1-16.
- Perpetual Thankfulness (Colossians 3:15-17) - The reasons for thankfulness are documented in Scripture (Colossians 3:16). Thankfulness is demonstrated through our worship, speech, and deeds (Colossians 3:16-17). Remember we are privileged, not entitled to God's blessings.