Tag Archives: kindness

Clothe Yourselves

image

Art Journal Note: 

For these pages I used watercolour pencils for the background, and just softened and blended the colours slightly with a damp brush. Inspired by this verse, I used a clothes catalogue to cut out an image of the woman, and also some outfits (from photos where the model is in a similar position). I left little ‘tabs’ around the edges to create this ‘paper doll’ effect (AKA Bunty comic circa 1979!). I wrote out most of the verse in black pen, and also used alphabet stamps for the ‘Clothe Yourselves’ part. I love the hat, to represent ‘love’ – which kind of completes the outfit! 

Colossians 3:12-14 The Message

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Just as every morning we choose what to wear for the day ahead, we also get to choose how to live our lives as a Christian. It’s important to make the right choices every day. It helps us to ‘be prepared’.

Living in the UK, I think I’ve finally understood the best clothes to wear, all year round, are LAYERS. Lots of layers. And the top layer should ideally be waterproof! Then I’m ready for whatever the day brings, hot or cold, rain or shine and everything in between.

These verses from the book of Colossians give us a practical, visual illustration of how we should live our lives. How to live out our faith. It’s what a ‘Christian’ looks like. This is not just skin deep, superficial, or airbrushed, it’s not a mask or an act we put on. These are instructions on how we are to be from the inside out – how we should think, what we should say, how we should act.

Here is a reminder that God has chosen us all to be His people, and we are ‘holy and dearly loved’. God shows each of us unsurpassing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and above all – love. We are all reminded in this verse that we are to forgive others as we ourselves have been forgiven.

It is important how we act and react with other people. Jesus commanded us to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ and to ‘love one another as I have loved you’.

I’m sure it’s no secret that not everyone is easy to love. Or even get along with. (If we are honest we know we are not easy to love or get along with all the time either). And it often takes conscious effort – an act of the will – to decide to hold your tongue, to forgive, to let go, to turn away, or turn towards, to act kindly, to bless, to do helpful things for someone, even when they have upset us, to think of their needs and their burdens, and to support others practically, emotionally and spiritually.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you love me, and you have chosen and forgiven me. You have shown me such mercy and grace, thank you for being gentle, kind and patient with me. Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. I pray that you would help me to show your love to others in all I think, say and do, every day.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Advertisements

The Kindness and Love of God

image

Art Journal Note:

For this page I used a simple watercolour painted background. When it had dried, I used a ruler & pencil to draw some wonky diagonal lines all the way down the page all at different angles. I then pencilled in roughly where the words would go, filling each line completely with all the letters as they increased and decreased in size. It was quite fun! When I had roughly positioned the letters, I went over it all in a black roller-ball pen. The words did seem to bunch up a bit by the end of the page as I thought I might run out of space, but it doesn’t really matter!


Titus 3 verses 4-7 is one of my absolute favourite passages of Scripture:

But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us,not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (NIV)

And to read it in the Amplified Bible really brings it to life even more!

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour to man [as man] appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Saviour.[And He did it in order] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved), [that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action], and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to [our] hope.

To me, these three verses sum up the entire gospel – this is the essence of the good news of Jesus!

It covers all aspects of life: our sin, how we cannot earn our salvation, it tells of God’s mercy, how we are washed and cleansed from our sins, born again in Jesus, baptised in the Holy Spirit, and having been made right with God, how we have an exciting future in Him.

This is a beautiful recap of all that God has done for us. All the truths we need to know.

It’s a message of hope.

After giving this powerful truth-packed summary of all that God has done for us, Paul says this:

This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Here, Paul shows us that it’s good to remind ourselves of the basics, the core essentials of our faith. It reminds me a bit of the Apostles Creed, which again, I really love – there’s something incredibly powerful when a group of believers all state what they believe, out loud all together. It builds our faith and we encourage one another.

And the reason Paul was giving this truth-packed summary of faith was so that we may ‘do what is good’. When we really deeply know and experience God’s kindness, goodness and mercy, we can’t help but respond by offering ourselves to Him in willing surrender and service.

Heavenly Father, Your kindness and love amaze me. Thank you for sending Your son, Jesus  Christ, my Lord and Saviour, to die for me, to save me from my sins and to make me right with You. Thank you for pouring out your Holy Spirit upon me generously! Thank you for giving me hope of eternal life.

Father God, I echo the words of Simon Peter (John 6 v 68), as he said to Jesus:

‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’

Help me to serve you with my whole heart in all I do. 

In Jesus’ name,

Amen