Wednesday, February 19, 2014

40 Day Retreat with Jesus: Day 19

Today we are in Colossians, which is again, a book I'm not overly familiar with. However, I am VERY familiar with this verse because it's so very much part of my core beliefs! I normally don't post passages this long, but this one is important...

Today's focus:
Colossians 2:16-23
So don’t let anyone stand in judgment over you and dictate what you should eat or drink, what festivals you should celebrate, or how you should observe a new moon or Sabbath days— all these are only a shadow of what shall come. The reality, the core, the import, is found in the Anointed One. Don’t be cheated out of the prize by others who are peddling the worship of heavenly beings and false humility. People like this run about telling whoever will listen what they claim to have seen; but in reality they testify only to an inflated mind, saturated in conceit—not in the Spirit. They are detached from the very head that nourishes and connects the whole body with all of its nerves and ligaments, a body that grows by the kind of growth that can only come from God.
Listen, if you have died with the Anointed One to the elemental spirits of the cosmos, then why are you submitting yourselves to its rules as if you still belonged to this world? You hear, “Don’t handle this! Don’t taste that! Don’t even touch it!” but everything they are obsessed about will eventually decay with use. These rules are just human commands and teachings. Here’s what they are promoting: fabricated religion, self-humiliation, and bodily abuse. No matter which way they try to tether their bodies, they cannot harness their desires.
It is *so* easy to get discouraged and give up when it seems like we're told that in order to achieve salvation, there are a million and one rules to follow. It feels a bit like the cards are stacked against us, that we can't win. Why even try if we can't win. Well, Jesus came and wiped our slates clean-we no longer needed to concern ourselves with overly restrictive rules and regulations to achieve salvation-ANYONE could achieve salvation. This verse is actually part of the very core of my beliefs, that we do not have to focus on human rules to achieve salvation.