I am continuously in awe of the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made for me, the injustice he received- my justice. The older I get and the more I look around at the world around me both locally and globally, again, I am in awe of the place the Lord has me in. I wonder why I have been so incredibly blessed to live where I live, have the family that I do and the stability that probably 90% of the world does not. It’s actually disturbing to think about sometimes.
When thinking about the timing that I was born, I have often reflected on what it would be like to have lived 3,000 years ago when Moses walked the Earth. If we put our belief and faith in the fulfillment of Christ, their faith (for salvation) was in the promise of what was to come. Would I have had faith in something that had not happened yet? Or would I have been like the Israelites, always complaining and grumbling? They didn’t stop to reflect on God’s goodness so they forgot. They didn’t remember God’s faithfulness to carry them through so they were fearful. They didn’t offer thanksgiving but were discontent and grumbling. They missed it and subsequently missed out (on the Promised Land).
So what do I miss out on because I forget all that Christ has done for me? What do I miss because I am too busy trying to make up and or follow “rules and regulations”. I am often looking for the “right way” to do this or that, the next best self-help or self-improvement book or bible study. In my day to day life I forget all that Christ has done for me. I look to myself or others for help in what I should do. I forget that Jesus paid it all and instead, I have bought in to the lies in the world that tell me there is an ounce of good in me and it’s that good that Jesus wants. When I get on that hamster wheel, the cycle of performance, failure and guilt spin round and round. But Paul reminds us as believers we already possess all the knowledge we need to live in this world when we believe. We not only have the knowledge, but the power because of Christ and that should cause us to be thankful. Colossians 2 says:
6 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
I am reminded by this passage that when I crossed the line of faith, I became been filled with Christ. I am in him and he is in me. In him I have died to trespasses, circumcised, buried and raised. I was dead but am now alive, forgiven and free. Christ “cancelled the record of debt that stood against me with it’s legal demands.”
When I try to rely on my own goodness, my own good deeds and my own rules and regulations I set up in my life, it only leads to pride and a judgmental spirit. It leads me further from Jesus and shrinks the cross. When I listen to the conflicting messages from the so called Christian world around me, I am tempted to subscribe to man-made rules instead of living in the freedom that Christ died for me.
16 “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?”
Lord, Jesus, please forgive my sinful heart for wanting to fall back into slavery to man-made rules and regulations that you came to fulfill. Thank you for your sacrifice that bought my freedom both here on Earth and in eternity. Amen.