Do you obey God? Why?
The Colossians Christians thought that by obeying rules, or by avoiding certain things they would become closer to God. Listen to how the Apostle Paul says it here in Colossians 2:
Colossians 2:20-21. 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”
Lots of Christians still think this way. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. They spend all day thinking about what they are not allowed to do instead of thinking about how much Jesus loves them.
But Paul says that we have died with Jesus. What does that mean?
It means that when Jesus died on the cross we were connected to him spiritually and so we died too. It means that all our sins were paid for by Jesus on the cross and so there is nothing left for us to earn with our good behavior.
Paul says that our connection to Jesus and the cross means that we have died to the “elemental spirits of the world.” What are those?
This was a fancy way of saying “the basics.” Like what you learn in kindergarten. The ABCs of life. But what are these ABCs? These “basics.”
The basics of life say that if we do good thing then good things will happen to us. So if we obey God, then God will make sure we have a good life.
Maybe you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with that?”
Here’s the problem with the basics – we end up obeying God just to get the kind of life we want instead of obeying God because we love God and he loves us.
Do you obey God? Great!
But WHY do you obey God?
Is it because you have died with Jesus and have been already set free from sin. Or is to earn a good life from God, or to avoid trouble, or to earn stickers on a chart?
Part of growing up as a Christian is learning to obey God because, like Jesus, you love and trust him, not because it will give you an easier life. Because that’s not love that says “no matter what.” That’s love that says “I’ll love you if you make my life easier.” And that’s not the love of Jesus or the love of the cross.
Because of Jesus we died with him to sin and rose with him to new life.
With Jesus we can obey God from unconditional love.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Talk about the rules and “regulations” that you have in your house or in your child’s school. What about in the community or state? Make a list of some of the regulations you obey each day.
Talk about how these rules make life better (that’s the “basics”). But also talk about how we might obey from love for God not just from the basics. Without love we will actually get frustrated by rules and usually end up breaking them.
Help me to obey you for the right reason – because I love you, not because I want an easier life.
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