I have been reading through Colossians lately and have been both encouraged and challanged by it. One of the sections that really jumped out at me was:
"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him.
having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him
and established in your faith.
just as you were instructed,
and overflowing with gratitude.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the traditon of men,
according to the elementary principles of the world,
rather than according to Christ.
For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
and in Him you have been made complete,
and He is the head over all rule and authority;
and in Him you were also circumsised with a circumcision made without hands,
in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
having been buried with Him in baptism,
in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God,
Who raised Him from the dead.
And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
He made you alive together with Him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions,
having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us
and which was hostile to us;
and He has taken it out of the way,
having nailed it to the cross."
When I read through God's Word (which I believe the Bible is- inspired by God instructions for my life) I like to think about what I am reading and ask myself some questions:
Who is this written too? Some of the Bible is for specific people at specific times (which if you read the context you can figure that out -I wasn't sent to fight the Midianites for example) but most of the New Testament and parts of the Old are written to direct us now. (It was also written for people then but it applies to all time).
Am I following what is written here?
Here are some example of some of the questions that I asked myself while reading through this passage:
- Am I walking in Christ? (Verse 6) This is a continual process (not something I can check off as done) but I am trying to walk in Christ and reading this encourages me to strive even more to follow His steps.
- Am I overflowing with Gratitude? (verse 7) I do feel extremely thankful to our Great God but I want to continue to praise God and thank Him for all He has done.
- Am I making sure that I follow Christ's teaching and stay away from the World's ideas? (Verse 8) I am trying to stay grounded in God's Word so that I will know the difference.
- Have I been buried with Him in Baptism? (Verse 12) YES!! Thank you God for giving us a way to die to sin and be covered with Your blood (What we need to save us!) Thank you for the new life that You gave me!
What I was really noticing and enjoying this time of reading through these verses was the word picture that is given of Jesus taking our long list of decrees against us- it is a debt that we could never pay but He got rid of it, it is no longer a problem for us because He nailed it to the cross! I have done nothing to deserve that, there is no way that I can pay but God loved me anyway and Jesus was willing to die for me and get rid of the sin problem that I had. Thank you Jesus!