Beyond a “Clean Slate”

A closing portion of a message I (Chadwick) was excited to preach recently, from Colossians 2:6-19…img_2969-3

..But he says “THEREFORE (because of all we’ve just talked about), don’t let anyone condemn you in matters of food or drink or observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths…these were all the “measuring cups” that pointed to what was coming – Jesus Christ.   Don’t let anyone try to disqualify you, insisting on you “making up” for past sins, or even your current situation in order to earn or deserve your redemption.  Don’t let someone distract you by talking about how important angels are – or new messages they’ve received, or people who dwell on visions they’ve had – or make you wish you could have such messages or visions as well.  Some people get puffed up without a reason by human ways of thinking…

..but those things & those people have become disconnected from the head…

..but you, hold fast to the head, the source of life TODAY, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.”

Each of us is tempted to make religion an economy that makes sense.   God has done this, so I owe him this.  If I don’t do _______, then I don’t deserve ______.  But since I _______, God will _______.   But the grace of God throws these economies out the window and invites us to be completely set free so that we are not serving rules and commands.   Not that the rules and commands are thrown out also – but they are seen as signposts to a way we’d eventually be able to live – what it looks like when we are rooted and being built up in the love and life of Jesus Christ.

Our lives are no longer our own – but as we’ve died to self, we’ve come alive in Christ. If you haven’t yet made this decision – you can right here and right now.  If you have already, this can be a great moment to re-commit in your heart and mind.

Not as a moment of “earning” anything, but as a moment of a child opening the gift you’ve already been given…

“Dear God,

I have lived as if I was my own person.  When I do that, the laws condemn me and offer nothing but punishment.  But today I receive your grace again, & ask forgiveness…turning away from the old identity. I believe that in Jesus, you have restored my relationship with you, and invite me to live and walk in your love and grace.  I believe that changes everything, and doesn’t just wipe the slate clean – but has destroyed it forever.

Like a child, I open the gift of your grace and Love.  I’m overwhelmed by the ways you embrace every bit of who I am in this moment.  I ask that you continue to show me daily, all the ways I get to reveal your love to the World.  Guide me, empower me, and may my life bear the fruit of your Spirit.  I give you all that I am as an act of worship…and pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.”

2 thoughts on “Beyond a “Clean Slate”

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