Ephesians chapter 6 where it talks about the armor of God. It also says you have a belt, but it's the belt of what?
Anybody know? Belt of truth. Here it's the belt of love. There it's the belt of truth.
Why? Why does Paul do that? Because when you're in a battle, it's different. When you're in a battle and you're battling ideas and values in the world, you better be tied together with truth. Here's why for Christians, the thing that hold our garments of grace together is love. But first, here's a resource that will help you connect in a special way with Christ as you encounter him on the road to Emmaus. Looking deep into the empty tomb by Skip Heitzig consists of five messages including rise up, Easter's over, now what?
An empty tomb of full life, Jesus died but God, and come alive. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most attested to facts in history. It is a fact that sets Christianity apart from every other world religion and it's the reason for our hope. Of all of the religions in the world, only four of them are based upon actual personalities. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.
Those four are based upon the personality of the founder. But of all of those four religions, only one claims a resurrection for its founder. That's why we have hope. That's why we gather here today because of that good news. For this Easter season, we've put together a special set of resurrection resources by Skip that include five of his finest Easter messages for audio download or on CD and a full video titled On the Road. We want to send you a copy of this package of messages as thanks for your gift to support Connect with Skip Heitzig and help grow this teaching ministry to reach more people in major cities in the U.S. this year. So request your package when you give your gift of $50 or more today and take a walk with the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.
That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, let's turn to Colossians three as we join Skip. It's humility of mind, but it goes far beyond the mind. It's far beyond a feeling.
In fact, I would say humility is not a feel thing. It's a do thing. It's sort of like exercise. Is exercise a feel thing or a do thing? It's a do thing.
You got to do it. So if I stand in the gym, I got my gym shorts on and I'm standing there and I'm leaning up against something. You know, I'm having fond thoughts right now of exercise. I'm just picturing myself. I'm picturing what it is like to exercise. I'm just filling my thoughts and feelings of exercise. Wow.
Okay, that's been the problem with us, right? How many of us have had feelings of exercise that we never follow through on? I saw your garage sale. You're now selling all that stuff that you bought. So the Bible doesn't say feel humble or imagine yourself to be humble. The Bible says humble yourself.
That's a do thing. So I'm thinking clearly of who I am before God and I'm going to act a certain way toward people. That's humility.
So you want to put that on. Then next on the list is meekness. And meekness here is pretty easy because they've made it a nice coat.
Thank you, Ryan, for this outfit that you have provided. There goes the hat. There goes the humility when she put a nice coat on.
Okay, so there it is. So meekness. Now, I don't know if you are thinking this, but most people think of meekness as somebody who's docile, maybe soft-spoken, maybe even spineless, fearful. If you have those thoughts, you're wrong.
That is not the idea. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness actually means power under control. That's the meaning of it, power under control. It was used by the Greeks to speak of wind, a soft wind, a soft breeze. Now, we know the wind can be destructive and very powerful. We've sadly seen that this last week in Florida, but when it's controlled, it can be a blessing. It was also a word used of horses before they were or a horse that had been broken, tamed.
We know horses can be also dangerous, can kill a person, but that kind of power under the control of a trainer and a rider can be a blessing. So then, humility, or excuse me, meekness, meek people are powerful people under God's control, powerful people under God's control. Now, there's a man in the Bible who is called the meekest man who ever lived. His name was Moses. And we know that Moses could get angry, he could get a little bit out of hand, but when he was controlled by God, amazing things happened.
He was a powerful force for good, but he is called the meekest man that was on the earth. What's interesting about that, by the way, is that's found in the book of Numbers. It says Moses was the meekest man on the earth. You know who wrote the book of Numbers? Yeah, Moses wrote it. He wanted you to know. I'm like the meekest guy who ever lived. So, I'm not doubting it.
It's in the Bible, but it's just an interesting P.S. Next is long-suffering, and we've made the shoes long-suffering, because you've got to walk sometimes a long way. So, long-suffering comes from two Greek words that are formed into one word. The word for long-suffering is macrothumia, macrothumia.
Macro means large or long. Thumas means heat or passion. So, the idea is that it takes a long time for you to get heated up. That's the idea of long-suffering. Now, we know that some people have a very short temper. Do you know any people like that? They have a short temper? Are you like that?
You might be. So, people that have a short temper does not take much to get them started, right? It can be one look, one word, one tweet.
Sets them off. Long-suffering is long-tempered. It takes a long time to get the temper flared and to get it going. Somebody said, long-suffering is letting your motor idle when you feel like stripping the gears. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us, love suffers long and is kind.
So, this is simply being patient with people. Now, I don't want you to think it's wrong ever to get angry because that's not true. Jesus got angry. Jesus overturned tables. Jesus took a whip and took people out of the temple. We know that story. He did it twice in His ministry.
Once at the beginning, once at the end. And the Bible tells us, be angry and what? Sin not. Be angry and sin not. What that means is, it's okay to be angry, but be angry at the right time for the right reason with the right amount.
And if you do that, that works well with long-suffering. So, that's the right wardrobe. All these things mentioned in verse 12.
Tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering. That's the first thing. Pick the right wardrobe. Second, once you have the right, if you're dressing like that, that's good. But second, you need to pardon fashion faux pas because if you walk around with all of these virtues, dress so well like that, just know that other people in the body of Christ aren't necessarily going to be dressed like that. Some people are going to be sheep in wolves' clothing.
They're going to be still holding on to some of those behavior patterns from the past. So, look at verse 13. It says, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. If anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Notice the threefold use of the phrase one another. You know why that's there? He's referring to other Christians.
That's why. So these are social graces to be used in and out of the church, but the one anothers place you in the body of Christ. In other words, there are other Christians who do not act like this. You're putting this on, they're still holding on to past behavior patterns, and you rub up against them. You need to pardon that.
You need to give them grace. Okay, so let me tell you a personal story about fashion, if I can just indulge you for a moment, or indulge me for a moment. So when I first met my wife, Lenya, when I just met her, I noticed how fashionable she was. She was put together quite nicely, and I understood that she had a background in it. She had been accepted at Los Angeles School of Fashion, so she is educated in this, and she was really nicely.
But then she meets me. I was a surfer. Do you know what the fashion sense of a surfer is?
Like it does not exist. Okay, so my idea of getting dressed up, true story, you can ask her because I did it for her. I thought I was like dressing up in formal wear. It was a pair of corduroys, a Hawaiian shirt tucked into the corduroys. You don't wear Hawaiian shirts tucked in, ever. Tucked into the corduroys.
If you're doing that, just please stop doing that. But I tucked into my corduroys, and over my Hawaiian shirt and corduroys, a velour sweater. Anybody remember velour?
It was cool for like a day. So I had that over, and my best pair of flip-flops. That's what she was dealing with. She had to be very pardoning of me, and very gracious to me. So in a spiritual sense, we need to do that with each other.
Notice what the text says, bearing with one another. That means putting up with people. Got any people like that in your life you just got to put up with? You're around the guy, I got to put up with that guy. Do you also know you're one of them? That other people have to put up with?
We all have them, we all are them to somebody else. Question, does God put up with you? Yeah, He does. In fact, do you know that the word that is used here, to bear with one another, or forbearance, is a word that is used in the Bible of God holding back judgment? It's like He should judge, He could judge, but He's going to hold it back. He's going to forbear. Romans chapter 2, verse 4, The riches of His goodness, forbearance and longsuffering.
Romans 3, 25, In His forbearance God passed over sins previously committed. This means we got to put up with disagreeable saints, God's people, church people. Listen, y'all, I love church people and I love church, but sometimes, now you know what I'm going to finish the sentence with, right? You know I'm going to say sometimes it's not easy. Am I right?
Right? It's sometimes hard to put up with church people. Somebody once said the church is a lot like Noah's ark.
Were it not for the storm on the outside, you couldn't stand the stench on the inside. But here we are. And you might dress to the nines with all these great graces, but not everybody is doing that, and they may be sheep, but still holding on to the wolves' clothing. And you need to pardon that.
That's bearing with one another. Next on the list in verse 13, not just bearing, but and, besides putting up, and on top of that, forgiving one another. If anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Now, I was thinking about this verse this week, and you should be glad that I do that. I actually think about the message I'm going to preach, but I was looking at forgiveness, and it dawned on me that forgiveness is really the logical result of all of these previous things that you put on. So follow me. When you're merciful and kind and humble and meek and long-suffering and forbearing, you'll forgive.
That's the logical result. You will never have an enduring relationship of any kind or quality without forgiveness. There are no enduring relationships without forgiveness. If you ever want to sit on the porch with someone at some time looking back over life saying, wouldn't that a great ride, you've got to get a handle on and learn forgiveness. Otherwise, your life is just going to be a pile of broken relationships one after another. And there are some people that are just so good at taking a grudge and never letting it go and nursing it forever and watering it and giving reasons why they should be angry and holding onto it. And the one that gets hurt is that one. If you are holding on and not letting go, I just want you to hear this, you're going to be in prison for the rest of your life. It's going to hurt you more than anybody else.
If you're letting somebody live rent-free in your brain by holding on and thinking about the past and not letting it go, you're going to be in prison the rest of your life. You've heard me talk about Corrie Ten Boom on many occasions. We have somebody who has played her in a play and hopefully will do that soon for us again. But Corrie Ten Boom, she was Dutch. Her family harbored Jewish people in their home and hid them during the Nazi occupation.
Family was discovered. They were thrown into a concentration camp. Corrie and her sister lived for many years in a concentration camp. Finally, the war was over.
They got out. Corrie Ten Boom went around and speaking. She spoke at my church where I came from in California at one time. And on one occasion where she was speaking and talking about her story in the concentration camp, this Christian girl who's now a woman, a man was in the audience who was the prison guard, the head prison guard at a concentration camp that she was in. He came up to her after the service. She saw him. He stood in front of her and said, I beg your forgiveness.
Please forgive me. Corrie Ten Boom said, I put my hand out. I'm in public, right? Everybody's looking at me.
I'm in public. I put my hand out. She said, mechanically, woodenly, like, okay. And she said, when I grabbed his hand, the former prisoner, the former prison guard, something came over me, she said. Something came over me. A warmth came over me. A love came over me. A forgiveness came over me.
And I genuinely felt pity for him. And she grabbed his hand, looked in his eye and said, I forgive you, brother. I forgive you, brother. And then she said, to forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover the prisoner was you. It sets you free. When you forgive, you get set free.
And notice what it says. If anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you must also forgive. The minute you feel offended by somebody, at that moment, let it go. At that moment, just say, Lord, I choose to forgive. Help me to forgive. I just want to let that go. I forgive. I forgive. Even if it's wooden, even if it's mechanical.
Start there. This is really Ephesians 4-32, just stated differently. That text says, be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. So, pick the right word rope. Pardon the fashion faux pas.
And number three, we'll close with this. Punctuate it with love. Punctuate it with love. So, I need to take this belt and get it ready because this is what ties it all together. Look at this verse. Look at verse 14. But above all these things, or you might say, besides all these things, put on, same wording, put on love, which is the bond, I'm going to translate it, belt of perfection.
So, in the old days, and here we're going to do it now in modern times, but in the old days, like in Paul's day and age, in ancient times, people wore a sash or a belt or what the ancients sometimes referred to as a girdle. I know that's sort of a weird word to say. You know, I'm just, look it, I got it upside down. I'm just so not good at this. You know, if I were in a department store, they'd fire me the first day. They'd say, get out of here. You don't belong here.
You should be a pastor or something. So, look, I did it the right way, and it's upside down. Okay, so love, love.
Yeah, it says love. Okay, so that's the belt nicely put together. So, ancient clothing always had a sash, always had a belt, always used that to tie the elements together. Okay, push the pause button for a moment. Think back in your mind, because you know this. Ephesians chapter 6, where it talks about the armor of God, it also says you have a belt, but it's the belt of what?
Anybody know? Belt of truth. Here it's the belt of love. There it's the belt of truth.
Why? Why does Paul do that? Because when you're in a battle, it's different. When you're in a battle and you're battling ideas and values in the world, you better be tied together with truth. But when you have day-to-day interactions with people in or outside the church, the belt that should tie it all together is the belt of love.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, well, you're talking about kindness and long-suffering and humility and meekness and all that. How could anybody do any of those things unless they had love? Well, I think you would agree that anybody can put on a show, can put on kindness and put on humility and put things on that really aren't genuine. The motivation isn't love, and I think what Paul is simply saying is let love be the motivating force that ties all of these actions and attitudes together. Because notice what he calls it, the bond of perfection.
Or, I'm going to say it this way, it'll give you the perfect figure. It's the most flattering way to live when you are filled with love. When you dress like this and you tie it all together with love and people see your life, you know what they're going to think? They're going to think, you know, I don't know much about Christianity, but I want that kind. I want that kind, the kind that that guy has, the kind that that gal has. That's the kind I want.
I want that kind of Jesus. So take off your grave clothes, put on your grace clothes. These are your grace clothes, new wardrobe.
Closing story. A man walks into a shoe store, and he says, give me a pair of shoes. So the man says, okay, which pair do you want?
He goes, I want this brown pair. Give me a size 8. And the shoe salesman looks down at his feet and goes, I'm guessing you are a 10, maybe even 11. The guy says, give me a size 8.
Okay, went back, got a size 8. The man put the shoes on. I mean, he had to curl his toes under to get the shoes on. It was obviously painful for him to put on these shoes, and he's standing up grimacing.
And the salesman looking at him like, who are you? And the man said, look, I just foreclosed on my house. I live with my mother-in-law. My daughter just ran off with her boyfriend.
My son just dropped out of college. The only pleasure I have left to come home to at night is to come home and take off my shoes. Give me those shoes. Miserable way to live, right? Like, horrible when you're reduced to that.
When you dress like this, you won't feel like that. Because what Jesus promised us is life more abundantly. Life more abundantly. And when you choose by God's grace to take off the grave clothes and put on the grace clothes, it's going to feel right, and you're going to feel free, and you're going to feel abundant living. But it must begin with the garment of salvation, the robe of righteousness.
Because perhaps if you are still one of those people who think, well, I'm just going to try really hard and be really good. You know, the Bible says all our good works are as? Filthy rags. That's a Bible verse. All of our righteousness, all of our good deeds, all the things we do to earn God's love are like filthy rags.
Unacceptable. He wants to give you a new life, make you a new you, and that comes by just coming as you are, asking for His forgiveness, admitting you need help, and letting Him clothe you. God has been in the garment business ever since the Garden of Eden, ever since He took those fig leaves off and put on sheep skins that required the death of an animal to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. He's willing to do that through His Son, Jesus Christ. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, Always Only Jesus. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can keep messages like this one today coming to you and others. God's Word promises an eternal home for those who follow Christ, and it calls us to tell that good news to other people. That's why we share these Bible-based messages online and on the air, to connect you and many others around the world to the eternal hope of the Gospel. When you give a gift to support this radio ministry, you not only help reach more listeners, but you also keep these messages that you love coming to you. With your support, we can expand the ministry this year into more major U.S. cities, reaching people who desperately need the Gospel.
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800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Join us tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares a message about how you can discern God's will for your life The will of God is not some mystical, impractical, ethereal process that makes you weird. It is not a maze. It is not a puzzle that you have to put together and figure it out. Make a connection Make a connection At the foot of the crossing Cast all the burdens on His word Make a connection A connection Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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