We come now to our last daily essential. The previous six essentials are really about who we are as believers and not just what we do as believers and followers of Christ. To ensure that our faith in God moves from religion to relationship, we have to approach our life of faith from the mindset that actions don't produce character, but rather, character shapes our actions. Yes, the way I behave has an enormous impact on my inward character, but the better measure is that my actions are a reflection of my character. Therefore, our last essential, in large part, is the barometer of how well we have incorporated these daily essentials into the fabric of our lifestyle.
Read Colossians 3:1-17. This is a synopsis of all of the 7 Daily Essentials - relationship, prayer, worship, fellowship, discipleship, stewardship and love. Look at verse 14 again. It says, "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." This is the key to this passage. Without love, everything we do is meaningless. Love is the fruit by which our character is judged.
Take it a step further though and look at it this way. Love is the resulting fruit, or outward evidence, that I am living a lifestyle of relationship, worship, prayer, fellowship, discipleship and stewardship. By "putting on love over all these virtues" we are putting skin on our faith. Love makes faith real and more than just a belief system or religion. Love puts my faith to action.
Are you loving your spouse more deeply? Do you find yourself drawn to people that you used to avoid? Are you more sensitive to the hurting people around you? Do you find yourself speaking words of encouragement instead of the usual criticism? If your answer is yes, then you are putting on love. If the answer is no, you can't just start loving people. Go back to the first essential and work your way up the list again. That will lead to a lifestyle of love.
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