Sunday, June 17, 2018

Just In Case?

Freedom From Human Rules--Colossians 2:16-23

"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.  Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.  They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."

        We often live our lives with a 'just in case' forethought.  God does provide for all of our needs and wisdom is included in that.  We know it is wise to include extra clothes on a trip or to pack some food and supplies 'just in case' there is possible car trouble.  We may always say 'I love you' with our goodbyes, 'just in case' it's the last time.  These are all wise 'just in case' decisions.
     What is not wise is to have a 'just in case' checklist, thinking it will improve your chances  with God.  That checklist might include-- going to church on Easter and Christmas, doing a good deed for someone, saying a prayer in your desperate hour of need, or giving your spare change to a needy cause.  That 'just in case' frame of mind is false thinking in religious terms.  Religion says 'do' in order to make things right with God, faith in Christ says 'done' by Christ on the cross.
     Our faith leads us to do acts of good... because of Christ's love in and for us, not.. so that Christ will love us.  Jesus loves us, as much on our worst day as He does on our best day.  God doesn't have a list of requirements, but just one--to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior of our lives over sin.  We are free from the old system of law and requirements, there is no 'just in case' duties to fulfill.  "The gospel isn't about the exterior changing the interior, but it's about the interior being made new and that working it's way out into the external dimensions of our lives."  
      God wants us to live a life with a 'it is finished' mentality.  Regarding your sin, your forgiveness, your standing with God, your guilt,  shame and regrets... it is finished when you have a relationship with Christ Jesus.  There is peace with God because of His work in us and not of anything we've done to boast about.

  "God loved you before you loved God, God freed you before you even knew you needed to be freed.  God accepted you fully, the moment you put your faith in Christ."