Last week I wrote about the Father’s desire to fully clothe us in his love. Too many people take a small bit of the new and try to attach it to what already exists. It doesn’t work.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 2:6-7, 3:1-3 NIV)
Paul tells us in Colossians 2:9 that all the fullness of the Godhead lives in Christ. That means in Jesus we see the fullness of the Father and the complete life of the Spirit all revealed through the Son of God who became a man, someone we could know, see and touch. That alone is an incredible thing - the Trinity being revealed to mankind through a man. In some ways that would be enough. However, there is more.
Through our new birth we are taken into Christ and so our lives become planted in him. He becomes the source of our life, everything we need can be found in him. His love and his life become our life-giving source, we draw everything we need from him.
The fullness of the Trinity lives in Christ, we are in Christ and therefore the overwhelming conclusion is that the fullness of the Trinity is ours. That’s what Jesus encourages us to be fully clothed with a new garment, the garment of love, rather than settling for a small patch to mend our existing way of life.
“Remain in my love so that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-11)
This changes everything and you can read more about how this can happen for you in my latest book “It Changes Everything” - available on Amazon.
In a few weeks time we celebrate the coming of Jesus, the birth of the Son of God. Thirty years later he began his earthly ministry; something new began to happen.
Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. (Mark 2:19-21 NIV)
The disciples of John and those of the Pharisees were fasting, probably in accordance with their custom. Jesus' disciples weren’t. The question to Jesus, which was repeated so many times during his life, was “why are you so different?” “Why are you breaking the mould?”
Jesus uses the picture of marriage as he says to those listening, “the bridegroom is here, it’s time to party!” Something new is happening and the challenge for us, as for the disciples, is are we willing to embrace it. Jesus tells us a frightening truth: too many people take a small bit of the new and try to attach it to what already exists. It doesn't work, the new will pull away and you’re left with the old messed up garment.
Jesus reveals the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the Kingdom of Love. It is completely new and radically different to anything that has gone before. Don’t try and patch the old, traditional way of life; why not fully embrace the path of love. As Paul writes: “Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in love” (Col 3:14 AMP).
I invite you to take off the old garment of religious performance and then wrap yourself in love. That garment of love covers everything. As you do, you will discover that the Father's love changes everything. If you would like to read more I recommend my latest book “It Changes Everything” - available on Amazon.
I wonder if the cry of our heart is like that of the Psalmist or the prophet Jeremiah. They both had a deep longing to know God through an experience that was rooted in their heart.
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11 NIV)
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jeremiah 24:7 NIV)
In English, we only have one word for "knowing" and we use it in a variety of different ways: we know about something, we know where something is or we may know a person intimately. The single word doesn't always give us the exact sense or real meaning of what is being said. Other languages distinguish between knowing a fact and knowing something through experience. Knowing God's faithfulness and love is not simply being aware of a fact, it's the reality of knowing him through our experience of him.
King David seeks that in Psalm 86. He wants his heart to be changed so completely that he can fully experience God's faithfulness. He wants to really be able to rely on it and allow it to change him from the inside out. Jeremiah catches hold of the longing in God's heart as he declares that we might have a heart to know him, a heart that experiences who God really is.
An undivided heart, a heart to know him will take us on a journey. It will lead us to discover things not just about God, it will lead us to discover who he really is. The knowledge we acquire will be much more than facts and principles, it will be an experiential knowledge of the love of God and of his full nature, personality and character. It will take us to the place where, like the apostle John, we can say that "we know and rely on the love that God has for us" (1 John 4:16).
This truth is often hidden by the clutter in our heart. My encouragement is to rid yourself of the clutter in order that your heart can fully experience him.