Wednesday, July 1
Today's reading: Colossians 2:16-23
Man-made rules, regulations, rituals, and legalism are a few of the names for what Paul warns against in Colossians 2:16-23. As part of this warning, Paul poses a good question for us to consider: why do we submit to human, self-made regulations pertaining to worship when God's Word tells us that we have freedom in and through Him once we've made the decision to follow Christ (see vs. 20-23)?
I spent a few minutes thinking about Paul's question. I'm a rule follower. When I follow the rules, particularly in an area that is important to me (my faith), it makes me feel good about myself for being disciplined, diligent, and obedient. I am also drawn to rule following because of the sense of control it provides for me, and I love feeling like I’m in control.
But here's the thing. God doesn't require, nor is His interested in, our ability to follow man-made rules. God only wants us to be in a genuine and intimate relationship with Him where we freely worship Him in spirit and truth (see John 4:23-24). Nothing we do or don't do makes us more or less loved or valued by Him, and our actions are not a factor in having a saving relationship with God through Christ. As it says in Galatians 2:16, "Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. . . because by works of the law no one will be justified."
I invite you to spend a few minutes like I did pondering Paul's question about the attractiveness of rule following. I think you'll find it helpful, and I hope you'll come away from this time spent with God feeling a bit freer. Tami
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