Daily Devotional 8-13-19

Binding Love   
By Julie White
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12, 14
The Japanese character for love is pronounced ‘ai’ and is pictured with a symbol for a belt found on a traditional Japanese gown known as a kimono. Called an ‘obi,’ the wide silk belt wraps around the outside of the kimono to hold it together.  The ‘obi’ is both functional and beautiful.
I wouldn’t doubt, that God, in His sovereignty, had the Japanese people reserve that character to symbolize something He would communicate to the Colossian Church through the apostle Paul. Just as a Japanese woman puts on many layers of clothing as part of the kimono, Paul urges us to layer virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Each layer of a kimono has its purpose and adds to the overall effect of beauty. Such should be our clothing of character – functional and beautiful.
Paul then urges us to bind our virtues with the ‘obi’ of love; our qualities of the Spirit are to be held together by our relationship with God. Without that bond, we could not reflect the unity that Christ obtained for us. Not only is the ‘obi’ functional, it also allows the beauty of the woman and the kimono to be seen. The people of God who bind themselves in love are strikingly beautiful, and the world cannot help but be attracted to them.
Let’s layer the virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience on our lives. And then bind that ‘obi’ of love tightly.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I desire simple beauty in my life. Work from the inside out and help me be a binding spirit of love to those around me, always, drawing them closer to You.