Well, Precious Readers, it was quite chilly here in Central New York this morning, so fall is definitely on the way. The leaves are beginning to change and fall. I love this time of year, but really am not looking forward to raking all those leaves that will fall on the property. I know, it keeps me young or tired – one of them, I think.
As I wrote my “prayer letter” this morning to my intercessors (go to Prayer if you would like to receive this weekly update on the ministry and my schedule. Just fill in the form and click the gray button on the bottom/left area of the page. This goes directly to my lists and does not get used for anything other than my prayer letter and notifications that I choose to send to this group. I assure you there will be no pleas for funds sent to you) I referenced in my letter Colossians 2:20-23. I want to spend a few minutes here to expand on that a bit.
“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations– ‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
We read this and then actively participate in certain accepted Christian practices that fit right with in that framework. I have in the past, even taught courses of study on them. Yet, the Word is so very clear about our New Covenant status:
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16. Also, Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Grace teaches us how to order our lives by Holy Spirit instruction through the Word of God in freedom and joy. The law only teaches of sin. The blood of Jesus, once engaged releases us into His joy of forgiveness and freedom to experience Him through Holy Spirit’s inward witness with the Word. All this becomes such an overwhelming interaction in relationship that there is no room for legalism or “sin concentration” or overt sin behavior – because this relationship is so complete in its provision that any participation in those matters belittles the love and freedom given through the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any “acting-out” of the other concentration reveals the relationship gap. Being a Christian is not about gradually “becoming” something, but learning to “Be” as He is in His provision. Let’s re-read this Bible of ours!
Seems to me we need to really saturate our teaching and thinking with the provision instead of lack. Glory!
(All Scripture taken from NKJV)