Victorious Living

Bible Book: Colossians  3 : 18-24
Subject: Christian Living; Victorious Living; Faithfulness; Commitment

Victorious Living

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Colossians 3:18-24

“18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Some people consider victorious Christian living to be a pie-in-the-sky form of faith and life. Actually, Jesus lived His earthly life in a real world, suffered real problems, and died a real death on the cross. In fact, Jesus died with the sins of the world upon Him and did so in a form of pain and suffering that is indescribable. He rose from the dead to grant us forgiveness, hope, peace, and purpose in this life with eternity following death. So, when we present Jesus as the hope of the world, the true joy of living and the only way to eternal ife, we are telling it like it really is.

Jesus is the answer to living in the real world - the world we live in when we are outside the church buildings - and that is good thing for that is where we must live most of the time.

Victorious Living is not made up of banner days and glorious triumphs. Most of life for the Christian is lived in the experience of simple everyday tasks. We must live in traffic on Interstate 285 in Atlanta, at home when the baby is crying, at school when the test is difficult and at work when the boss is angry, or the employees are failing. That is real life - and that is where Jesus is - in the everyday real world with those who trust Him.

Life is lived with sinus trouble, arthritis in the joints and the occasional need for Rolaids. That is real life. Life is the need for an oil change in the car when you don't have time for it, the need for the grass to be cut when your lawnmower will not start, the need for groceries to be purchased when your finances are deficient, or the need to do other chores that you simply don't want to do. That is real life.

Please understand this – Victorious Christian living was designed for situations just like the ones I have described. Salvation was not provided so we could go off and live in a monastery far away from the world; rather, Christ came into this world to give life meaning when we are smack-dab in the middle of real life.

Look at how Jesus prayed in John 17:15-18:

"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

Jesus does not seek to remove us from the world, though He does seek to remove the world from us. He, in fact, sends us into the world that we may be what He was to the world – light and life.

So, today I want us to see three areas which Paul addresses in the latter part of Colossians 3. These three areas identify the nitty-gritty arena into which we are thrust as the children of God. If we do not live like Victorious Christians in the three areas before us in this Scripture, we cannot live as Victorious Christians when we sit in church on Sunday.

Paul speaks of Victorious Christian living taking place between Wives and Husbands, Children and Parents, and Employers and Employees. Interesting, isn’t it? Paul is pointing out that we must know how to live Christ-like lives in the crux of marriage, parenting, growing up, in the work place - and all common everyday places.

Sometimes we get the idea that only great people in great places can do anything great in God’s work. This is an erroneous concept. It is everyday people, in everyday places, doing everyday things that can accomplish great things for God. Think about this with me as we consider some facts from the Bible.

I. Do What You Can

We are never required to do that which we are incapable of doing.

Frederick William Faber wrote:

"When obstacles and trials seem

Like prison walls to be

I do the little that I can do

and leave the rest to thee."

Some Christians have such an abysmal view of their abilities that they underestimate what they can do. Such people ought to take Philippians 4:13 as a theme verse: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” God does not expect us to do what we cannot do, however, he does require us to do what we can do.

As an example, look at the woman who poured out the sweet fragrance on Jesus. We read in Mark 14:8-9, “8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

Note why Jesus praised her. "She did what she could." There were many things she could not do, but she did what she could and that was enough to merit the praise of Christ. Are we doing what we can do? Probably not - few are doing so, and that is a shame to us in this generation.

Did you know that God even counts your desire to do something for Him as if it had been done? That is true if in fact you would do it if you could do it. We see that in the life of David. King David wanted to build a house for God, but the Lord would not allow him to do it (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). God did not expect him to do what he was not supposed to do – God only expected David to do what he was supposed to do. So God allowed David to begin the accumulation of materials for the Temple, even though Solomon would be used to actually erect the great building.

Look, for example, at 2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” God does not ask us to do or give what is impossible.

In our text we note that Paul wrote about the most common things in addressing obedience to God. In your marriage, are you doing what you can to be a better wife or husband? Let me ask every parent and child here today, are you doing what you can to live a truly Christian life the relationships in your home? It is hard to be great servant in the church if you are a miserable failure at home.

What about in your work, your place of employment, or the management of your employees – are you honoring God? Paul was stating that high theological concepts are of no value if they are not matched with exemplary lifestyles in the world in which we live everyday.

It is not the evangelist in the great stadium who does God’s greatest work, it is rather the husband, wife, son, daughter, parent, employee and employer who does his or her very best for God right where they are - that is to be commended according to scripture.

Do what you can right where you are. But, then, we must also ...

II. Do What You Can With What You Have

Don’t spend time daydreaming about what might be or what might have been. Decide today that what matters is where you are, what you have, and what you are willing to do in obedience to God right now. You are as important to God as anyone else, anywhere else, with anything else.

Recall with me a time when Jesus watched the people putting their money into the treasury at the Temple. Now let’s understand how this was done. When a person gave an offering at the Temple during the time of Christ, he or she would walk past a treasury container and drop in a gift. When rich people walked by, the sound of the gold and silver dropping into the container would make a great noise and the people standing around would 'ooh' and 'aah' in response.

The Bible records that Jesus brought His disciples to the Temple one day and that Jesus stood over by the treasury containers and watched the people put their money into them. Now this must have been an interesting moment. Most of us don’t like for people to look at what we give. We consider that a private matter. In our church, we have a counting committee who must look at offerings and count them. Then, the information is turned over to our Financial Secretary, and from that moment on she is the only one who knows what you give to Lord through this church.

Many years ago, John Broadus did something very unusual. You do know who John A. Broadus was, don’t you? No. Well, let me give you some background before a tell you a story about him.

Broadus was born in Virginia in 1874 and he grew up to become a scholar, teacher, preacher, and denominational leader in the Southern Baptist Convention. When he was about 16, he was converted to Christ. In the fall of 1846 Broadus entered the University of Virginia to prepare for the ministry, receiving the M.A. degree in 1850. Afterward, he taught school and preached in small country churches, and diligently studied church history, theology, sermons, and the Bible. He was ordained to the ministry in 1850.

Calls of various kinds came to the young teacher, and he finally accepted the post as tutor in Latin and Greek at his alma mater and pastor of the Baptist church at Charlottesville. After one year he resigned his teaching position in order to devote full time to his pastorate. He continued this ministry with the exception of two years when he was given a leave of absence to serve as Chaplain at the University of Virginia.

In 1858 Broadus was asked to become a member of the faculty of the new Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Though he had a part in planning the institution, he declined the offer because of his dedication to preaching and pastoral work. After months of struggling with the decision, he agreed to become a member of the first faculty when the seminary opened in Greenville, South Carolina in 1859. For the next 36 years he was professor of New Testament interpretation and homiletics.

The seminary was closed during the Civil War, and Broadus preached in small churches and spent some time as Chaplain in Lee's Army in northern Virginia. The seminary reopened in 1865, but it struggled for existence and remained open only because of the heroic efforts of Broadus and James Boyce. It was in 1870 that Broadus published “On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons,” a book which has become a classic in the field of preaching. Broadus received nationwide recognition as a preacher and teacher and was offered many pastorates, professorships, and other positions.

The last years of his life saw Broadus become better known. He published a number of books. In 1889 he gave the Yale Lectures on Preaching and, as far as I know, is the only Southern Baptist to ever do so.

I told you all his about him so that you would know that John Broadus was no common man. He was a brilliant, committed, and dedicated man of God. But it is reported that one Sunday he did something most unusual. He left the pulpit during the offering and walked down with aisle with the ushers. He watched carefully as each person gave his or her offering. Those present said that one could feel the tension among the members. After doing this, the pastor went back to the pulpit and said something like this, “What I just did made you feel uncomfortable, didn't it. It should not have. You need to remember that God is watching you every time you give, and He knows not only what you give but what you have left over after you give!”

I have a feeling that the disciples felt a little uncomfortable the day Jesus stood and watched the gifts being given at the Temple. They may have whispered, “What is the Master doing? He is watching what each person gives. That is kind of embarrassing.”

Just then, Jesus called them over and said, “Did you see that? Did you see it?” They probably asked, “See what?” Jesus said, “That woman, that poor woman who just put in her offering. She gave two mites. It was greater than all the other gifts.”

Surely the disciples thought Jesus was losing it. Two mites was equal to about a penny in today's money. Here was a woman who gave two half-pennies and Jesus was excited about it. Others had given great gifts - large amounts of money. Could Jesus not see the difference? But Jesus went on to explain His excitement.

“The rich have put in some out of their wealth, but this poor woman has put in all she had – even her living.”

The Scripture puts it like this in Mark 12:41-44, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

In other words, Jesus was excited because this woman had given what she could with what she had. The greatness of our gifts is not measured in their size but in their sort. I mean, the size of your gift may not be as big as that of another, but it may be the sort of gift that demands the best you have. We must do what we can with what we have.

God knows what you give, but He also knows what you have left AFTER you give. He knows when we are truly sacrificing to give financially, or with our time, to carry on His work. Your gift may seem small to others, but God knows how great the gift is because He knows what you are capable of doing.

Think of David and his sling. He used what he had to do what he could. He did not have, nor did he need, the armor of another solider.

Think of the little lad and his lunch. He gave a small gift, but it was enough. He gave what he could through what he had. God did the rest. He did not own a restaurant, but he could share his little lunch. That was all God asked of him.

We are all to do what we can with what we have. This tells me that God is not expecting me to be Billy Graham. Did you hear about the young preacher who heard one of Billy Graham’s sermons on a CD? He was so excited he decided to learn every word of the sermon and preach it to his people the next Sunday. He stood up that day and people began to look at each other. They had never heard him use such clear articulation nor heard him with such strong conviction of words. Everyone was excited that day till the young preacher came to the end of his sermon. You see, he was preaching in a church of about 100 people. There was no balcony and just a normal crowd that day. But when the young preacher came to the end of his sermon, he said, “Now I want you to come forward. You need to come right now. If you are way in the back, you can still come. If you are in one of those high balcony seats, you can come. If you are with friends, do not worry because the buses will wait for you. You can come now.”

Needless to say, he lost his audience. It appears that he had learned too much of the sermon. A wonderful preacher told me one day that when he began his ministry he preached some of the best sermons ever produced. He said, “I preached sermons by Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, Dwight L. Moody, et al.” He went on to say, “But then I learned that God wanted me to preach sermons out of my own personality.” I can attest to fact that God has and is using that man as a great preacher today. Of course, all of us as preachers learn from others, are inspired by others and find material to help us prepare and preach. But God wants me to be ME – not someone else. And that is what God wants from you. Just be who you are as a child of God with what He has given you. You can learn from others and develop your gifts through others, but God does not expect you to be anyone but YOU.

God does not expect us to be what we are not. He does not expect us to do what He has not given us the gifts to do. But, we can be better in our marriages. We can give our best as parents and children. We can work better for our employers and be better to our employees. We can reflect Jesus right where we are, in the real world, with what we have!

Now let’s look at the third and last thing we can do. You see, we can do what we can, with what we have, and we can add one more ingredient ...

III. Do What You Can, With What You Have, to the Glory of God

Look again at Colossians 3:23-24:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

What we do, we must do for the glory of God! Our goal must be to glorify God and not ourselves.

We need to understand a principle here – we are ambassadors for Christ. Every Christian is a representative for Jesus. We are to live each day to bring glory to Him. We don’t do this by doing great things in a normal way, but we can do this by doing normal things in a great way. We glorify him at home in our marriages, at home in our relationships with children or parents and at work or school. Down there in the nitty gritty avenues of life, that is where we must be faithful and fruitful.

You see, many people think that great Christian living is done on the Mt. Carmel’s of this world. Actually, great living is done in the dens and kitchens of your own homes, or at the workbench in your place of employment.

One man came to his preacher and said, “Preacher, I got married because I thought my marriage would be ideal. However, my marriage is not 'Ideal', it has become an 'Ordeal' and now I am looking for a 'New Deal'!” Jesus is the only 'NEW DEAL' that really changes a life.

Sadly, many people are seeking self-fulfillment rather than seeking to bring glory to God. You will never bring glory to God unless you do what you can, with what you have, right where you are, for HIS GLORY.


Child of God, are you bringing glory to God in the ordinary places of life? That is where we must stand up and stand out for Him.

One day in Sunday School the teacher told the story of Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. Then he asked the children, “What is the meaning of this story?” One little boy spoke up quickly and delivered words far beyond his years or education, “I guess it means, when you have a marriage it is a good thing to invite Jesus.” Indeed, we need Jesus in the midst of our homes, our relationships, and our work.

Let me ask you something today: Are you doing what you can, where you are, with what you have, to the glory of God? That is, after all, what God wants from all of us who are saved. That is where Victorious Christian living essentially takes place.

Of course, all of this begins by knowing for sure that you have received Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior. Now is the time to make our commitments to Him.