16 June 2016
Reading: 1 Kings 17-19; Colossians 2
20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. (Colossians 2:20-23 NLT)
The religionists and the legalists who build their religious practices around the word “don’t” actually seem to be very spiritual. The rules are: “Don’t go there, don’t eat or drink those things, don’t do that!” The rules of religion seem to make a lot of sense because they are clear, distinct, and require self-denial and severe discipline.
Paul’s Good News message was built on “do” not “don’t!” Paul said things like: “Do” follow Christ. “Do” let your roots grow down into him. “Do” let your lives be built on him. “Do” let your faith grow strong in the truth. “Do” overflow with thankfulness.
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7 NLT)
There is a relentless pull toward the “don’ts” of religion and it ultimately leads to condemnation or foolish pride! The “don’ts” seem to make sense, but therein lies deception (Colossians 2:8) and condemnation (Colossians 2:16-19).
The “don’ts” can’t help us change on the inside. Only the “do’s” can change our hearts.
Father, Please help me to live by the “do’s” and not the “don’ts” today. I want to follow Jesus today rather than put my energy into things that lead to deception and bring condemnation. Help me to grow in simple faith today. Amen.