“I just love a good diet that restricts what I can eat and when I should eat it!”, said no one. Ever. We don’t like to be told what to do; but we catch ourselves listening and browsing social media with our easily distracted minds that tells us exactly what to do, what to be, when is best to do it, with where to do it. Click bait news is consistently influencing us with what is best for us with opinions by the celebrity “experts”. We are told we should do something about ourselves before someone finds out about all our imperfections and it’s too late to live life so others will be impressed and pleased. At the same time, we are bombarded with the mixed messages of, “have it your own way”, “be in charge of your own life”. Wait, what? STOP these thoughts! Get a grip!
It’s no wonder the world is confused with no point of reference from which to evaluate life with no guidance to what is real, relevant, and restorative for each of us. Many fail, flounder and throw fits with no thought of healing. We cry out for a way out but we have been miserable so long it becomes our way of life. Dear friends, this is exactly where the evil one wants us to be for, he can do his best work of destruction in us when we don’t know or live the Source of Life.
Paul is our counsel for today…read and be filled with the true Source of Life. Then, Live Jesus!
Colossians 2:6-23, The Message
From the Shadows to the Substance
6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
16-17 So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.
18-19 Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
20-23 So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that puffed-up and childish religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and austere. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.
WHAT DID WE JUST LEARN?
Jesus is THE Source of Life. “… the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
Jesus is The Way, Truth and Life forever. (John 14:6) Our faith is rooted in His Truth. LIVE like the redeemed in Christ—with joy, assurance, peace, abounding with His love in us—that NO ONE can take away from us! No matter what is happening around us, live Jesus!
Jesus has redeemed us and there is no turning back. We are saved forever with the hope of His return. And he is coming back, you know! “Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross.”
“School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! Live Jesus!”
Paul has given us good counsel, led by Your Holy Spirit in him. The words are indeed simple and straightforward, not confusing like the world. We know you, so we live in your ways. We are saved by you so we now live with you in us. Lord, help me to live you today in ways that bring others to your salvation.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!