Scripture: Colossians 3:1-11
Observation: Paul tells the Colossians what it looks like to live as followers of Jesus – Christ himself becomes our whole life. Therefore, we must remove anything that keeps us from pursuing God’s best for us.
Application: Have you ever entered a time in life where what you used to do just isn’t working anymore?
When I got to college, I got a C on my first nutrition exam – and after getting over my initial devastation (which included a major freak out, a desperate phone call to my parents, and resigning myself to the fact that I might be asking “Do you want fries with that?” for the rest of my life), I realized I needed to figure out some new ways to study… and fast. My old study methods from high school were not working anymore. (To be fair, by “study methods,” I meant skimming the textbook chapters and writing down a few notes the night before an exam and then somehow still getting an A, so I think a new study system was long overdue.)
College was a transition that required a transformation that I wasn’t quite ready for.
When Paul talks to the Colossians here, he knows they’ve undergone a complete transformation: they put their faith in Jesus, and so everything has changed.
“For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” (v. 3)
When we put our faith in Jesus, we put to death our old ways of living – our perceptions and attitudes, the way we engage in relationships and show up at our jobs, how we parent and manage and behave in every way. But it’s in the death that we find life, a new way of living – receive new perceptions, attitudes, ways of being:
“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become more like him.” (v. 10)
Whether we’ve been following Jesus for a few weeks or a few years, what do we still need to put to death inside of us so we can embrace a new life? What old methods just aren’t working for us anymore? What do we need to strip away so that we can clothe ourselves in the loving nature of Christ himself?
Prayer: God, I confess that I still hold on to some of my old ways of living, old attitudes and behaviors that seem so engrained to who I am. I pray you’ll give me new strength to strip off everything that separates me from you. Let me embrace the things of heaven, not the things of this earth, and find freedom in my true life in you. Amen.