Not just a religious practice

Date: Friday, April 5

ScriptureColossians 2:6-19

Verse: Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

Do you ever find yourself just going through the motions? We are doing all the things we are supposed to do, but there is no passion in our living it out. Sometimes we can do that at work. It is pretty easy to go through an exercise work-out with minimal effort. Sometimes, if we are honest, we can do it in our relationship with God also. We pray because we are supposed to. We read our Bibles quickly because we have a streak going for the last 10 days. We even come to church at times out of obligation more than desire. Those are good things to do – like it is better to exercise without passion than not at all – but we could do so much more. 

In today’s lesson, Paul is addressing the Christians in Colossae. These are not predominately Jewish-Christians, but rather those who had probably been followers of the state religion. They are receiving pressure though to conform to the Jewish festivals. This was a hot topic in the early church – Did you have to be Jewish before you could be Christian. Paul responds by saying their salvation comes not from obedience to these religious observances (specifically mentioning the sabbath), but through their faith in Jesus.

Resting isn’t about fulfilling some arbitrary law. Rather it is a command of God to stay in step with him. To use our time in service to others, and to be refreshed for continued service in the days ahead. We are at our best when we make a concerted effort to rest. 

Prayer: Jesus the Christ, Son of God, let not my observance of your will be just for the sake of following the rules. May my whole life, including my times of rest, be an expression of my faith in you. Amen. 

Action: Take a total break today. Do something for yourself, even if just for a few minutes, that has nothing to do with anything except your rest and enjoyment. 

Respond: When you find yourself “going through the motions,” what snaps you out of that pattern? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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