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Column: Let’s Stop Splitting! – THE COLOR PURPLE

By: Mike Kelly
Retired Pastor

I’d almost bet the farm (if I had one) that this title brings to mind the movie “The Color Purple” either the original with Oprah Winfrey or the new one that just came out with Fantasia Barrino in the starring role.

Well, that’s not where I’m going. At least I don’t think so since I confess to having never seen either movie or the stage productions.

In the Bible, the color purple represents wealth, royalty, power, nobility, the priesthood. David and Soloman wore purple. Lydia was a wealthy woman who sold purple cloth.

The color purple also signifies Jesus Christ’s sovereignty, authority and ownership. That means that Jesus owns those of us who have come to. Believe in him and his salvation through his death and resurrection.

The other day I was thinking about how much of me is Him and how much of me is Me. I first started with the knowledge that I am about 1% His and 99% mine.

I know my heart and my mind are so far from being transformed that it often causes me to worry about why I am so little transformed after 50 years of relationship with him.

That’s a slippery slope that can lead me to depression and feelings of failure and uselessness. Anyone else ride that slide? It seems a natural progression “that’s where I began and here is where I am”.

The space between the two points is minimal, almost miniscule. After all these years, shouldn’t I be more like Christ and less like me? A lot more like Christ! And a lot less like me!

From my perspective, my lack of growth is serious and inexcusable. If I had prayed more, read the Bible more, fasted more, given in to God more, wouldn’t I have moved further along?

I have lots of friends who seem way more mature spiritually than I am. They look like true Believers while I feel like an imposter much of the time.

See how easy it is to become depressed. Can you see the mistakes I made in my reasoning? Today, I can. But tomorrow? Maybe not so clearly. Frustrating! Isn’t it? The first mistake was comparing me to others.

That’s not how it works. The second mistake was forgetting who I am today. I am not mine but his.  I was born The Color White. Pure, holy, living on God Breathed breathe.

Over time, I learned to say “No” to God and sinned. At that point, my Color became Black. (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death…”  I was dead, without life or light, rotten and rotting. My white garments were permanently dyed black. I no longer had hope.

Here’s where The Color Purple comes in signifying Jesus Christ’s sovereignty, authority, and ownership. When we become Believers, we are totally and completely changed.

Scripture says it like this: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor 5:17.

My black garment and the self I was are left for the grave and I am given a new color. Not just coat or clothes in purple but I become completely The Color Purple through and through. Nothing of the old me is left.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with… because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Rom 6:6-8)

Is Purple your color? If not, ask Christ to let your old self die and take on His life of Purple. Christ did not make it hard to go from dead in our sins to life in Christ. But He did make it necessary!

Our black life is going nowhere we will ever want to go, but, going there, nevertheless. Unless we take a moment and stop it, it’s our permanent destination.

We have only two destinations…Heaven and Hell. And, yes, I know that many disagree. I might also if I had never met Jesus and The Holy Spirit.

I like the Pollyannaish idea that God loves us all so much that he would never allow us to go to Hell if there even was one. But the truth is that God loves us so much that he won’t force us to choose Him. He loves us so much that He gave us the ability to choose to go where we wish. True freedom.

Unfortunately, many too many choose to use that freedom to reject his love and salvation and to go their own way…straight into the fiery furnace.

As I told a friend the other day, doing nothing is a choice. Your black heart is going to Hell. If you just ignore the opportunity to choose heaven, your lack of choice is deadly.

Graham Brown said it well: “We are what we chose to be.” What do you choose? Black or purple?

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Mike Kelly is the founding pastor of Bryan’s Grace Community Church (retired) and Board Chairman of Bryan’s Sanctuary Homeless Shelter and Williams County’s Compassion (free) Medical Clinic.


 

The post Column: Let’s Stop Splitting! – THE COLOR PURPLE first appeared on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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