Tag Archives: Colossians 3

Sunday Devotional: Let the peace of Christ control your hearts

Colossians 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Below are 6 ways we can have the “peace of Christ” in our hearts (h/t Christian Post; In Touch Ministries; WikiHow):

(1) Examine your conscience. If you are troubled by something or someone, examine your conscience and ask yourself: “Did I do the right thing? What were my motives? Was I fair?”. And if you answered the questions honestly and determined that your action was righteous, then let the matter go and be at peace. But if you were not righteous, then change your behavior and make it right.

(2) Ask for God’s forgiveness. Peace with God is the foundation for peace in every other area of our lives. Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and it’s only through a relationship with Him that we will ever experience true contentment. When we sin, we break that relationship. The way back is by repenting and asking God for forgiveness, after which let go of your guilt.

(3) Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparing and competing with other people is one of the fastest ways to lose your peace and joy. Accept who you are, without being jealous of someone else’s skills or achievements.

(4) Accept other people the way they are. As the joke goes: “How many psychiatrist does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: One, but only if the light bulb really, really wants to change.” Stop trying to change other people. The only person we can change is our own self.

(5) Be kind. Studies found that being kind and generous actually make us happier, less likely to be depressed, decrease the stress hormone cortisol, promote mental health, increase our peace of mind, and even extend how long we live (New Republic; HuffPo). Here are some ways to be kind and generous:

  • Volunteer at your church, a senior center, an animal shelter, a soup kitchen or another community service organization.
  • Donate to a charity or worthy cause.
  • Help a friend or family member in need by listening to them and  lessen their problem with your labor or money.
  • Let go of a grievance or grudge. No one is perfect; neither are we.

(6) Be grateful. Studies found that being thankful is not only good for our physical health, it is also good for our mental health. Gratitude decreases toxic emotions like envy, resentment, frustration, and depression, and increases happiness. (See “”)

(7) Trust Him. God gave each of us a mind and the ability to reason and plan, which we are expected to use to good purpose. After we have done our utmost to be prudent and responsible, stop fretting and let it go. Put your trust in God — in His timing and purpose. As Proverbs 16:9 says: “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.”

And may the peace of love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Life does not consist of possessions

Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. 
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. 
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Our consumer culture sells us the lie that happiness comes from material possessions. While buying something new might give us a lift, the pleasure it gives is as ephemeral as dew drops in the morning sun. We have all experienced how quickly the pleasure wears off and, like drug addicts, we then look for yet another “fix”.

But in today’s reading from Luke 12, our Lord counsels us to “guard against all greed” for our “life does not consist of possessions.” As we grow older, we should simplify our lives instead of accumulating more and more possessions.

The recently-depart Alan Cohen, 83, spent his life acquiring and accumulating large amounts of stuff, charitably called “quirky” by the mother-and-daughter pair who had to organize his home for a recent estate sale. Below are pics of some of Cohen’s stuff.

As we age, we should simplify our lives by discarding the clutter and nonessentials.

Instead of jamming our homes with more and more stuff, try reducing the amount of our material possessions instead. Clear out your bulging closets and cluttered shelves. Sell them in a garage sale or, better yet, donate them to charity and get a tax write-off.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

Strive to live a clean and uncluttered existence. Pare our lives, our possessions, and our selves to what is truly meaningful. Instead of storing up stuff, be “rich in what matters to God.”

You’ll breathe easier and feel better.

And you won’t leave a house groaning with stuff and dust for others to clear out.

Colossians 3:5, 2-4

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 
For you have died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Giving thanks on the last day of the year

Colossians 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Study after study find that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy. Happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

Today, the last day of 2017, is an appropriate occasion for us to reflect on the past year and count our many blessings.

For one, we made it through another year, which is not so for some of our families and friends.

We lost Will Shanley, a member of our FOTM family, on November 6, 2017.

William Brandon Shanley of New Haven, Connecticut, passed away on November 6, 2017, age 65. He was a graduate of Lewis S. Mills high school and attended Emerson College in Boston. William’s intellect and technical abilities provided him a lifetime of wide and varied occupational experiences. At the age of 16 years he was the youngest DJ on the air in Waterbury. After college, Will worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign, providing technical and audio visual support. Over the years Will was employed by the National Academy of Science in Washington, DC; CNN in Atlanta, Georgia; and other news organizations. He was an independent documentary producer, and the editor and author of the charming and informative book, Alice and the Quantum Cat.

Will was fiercely principled, a tenacious warrior for the truth, a loyal colleague, and a sweet and loving friend. Professor Jim Fetzer perfectly describes him as “courageous, with the heart of a lion”. (In memory of Will, see this post on Fetzer’s blog.)

Please remember Will Shanley in your prayers.

As we look back on the year that was 2017, what are your thanks and losses?

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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