Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day Twelve - Fixing our Minds on Christ

Over the next several days we are going to look at idolatry and legalism that Paul was addressing here in this section of Colossians. We don't necessarily hear those terms much in our society anymore. So we want to be able to take a long hard look with the Lord's help into our own personal lives. Let’s look at the Scripture: 

Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God. Colossians 2:16-19 (HCSB)

A Warning from Jesus

You know, Jesus Himself gave us a clear warning about legalism. I am going to take you to Mark chapter 7, and we are going to look at Jesus as he was quoting the prophet Isaiah in verses 6 and 7. He said, "these people honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me, they worship me in vain teaching as doctrines the commands of men."

Again, it’s clear warning from Jesus that this is not acceptable. We want our hearts to be close to Jesus. We want our activities to mirror our heart’s closeness to Jesus, right?

Jesus continues in verses 8 and 9 saying, "disregarding the command of God, you keep the traditions of men. You completely invalidate God's command in order to maintain your tradition." 

Today’s Challenges

Our first challenge today is to go before the Lord and ask Him to show us any areas of legalism in our lives. 

Now it is really easy for you and me to say we don't have any issues with legalism.  That is why I want to encourage you - let's ask the Lord what He sees in our lives. Let's be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal things in our own lives, in our own practices, that aren't pleasing to God. These are things we want to get rid of so that we can enhance and grow our relationship with Jesus Christ. We don't want traditions and habits in the way. We want to serve Him with our whole heart and our whole mind. 

Paul issues another warning that we are so wise to heed. He tells us to stay connected to the head. He tells us that Jesus Christ strengthens us through tendons and ligaments as the body of Christ. I know that I love my Church family, I want to be strengthened, I want to be encouraged by my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

My next challenge to you today might hit you in a personal area but I am going to ask you: are you connected to the body of Christ? Do you have a church home?

If you don't, I want to encourage you to find one. I am imploring you to get back to church. It is so strongly encouraged in scripture to meet together as a congregation and yes, it is true, we can worship God outside of a church body. But that is not how God designed it, that is not the long-term solution. I just want to go back to Paul's very inviting words, to be comforted and nourished and knit together through the body of Christ. I want those things in my life.

If you don't have a church home and you would like to visit us in Firestone, Colorado, I would like to invite you to visit Purpose Church. It’s easy to find more information at www.purpose.church and we would love to see you there. 

I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged today as you take this hard look and try to discover any areas of legalism in your life. Remember, this is so that we can deepen our relationship with Christ and work toward making it the most meaningful and fulfilling area of our lives.

Thank you for joining me today, I pray that you will meet me right back here tomorrow as we fix our minds on Christ. 

Cathy McIntosh is the author of Victorious: Finding Triumph When Hope Seems Lost. When you can’t see God’s activity in your situation, you might begin to feel hopeless. You’re tempted to doubt His care and involvement in your life because He feels so . . . absent. Victory feels elusive as if God intends it for everyone but you.

But God is never absent. He is as involved in your life today as He was when He protected Queen Esther and the entire Jewish nation from annihilation, and He will bring victory.  Click here to purchase.

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