Colossians 2:16-23 – Whose Rules?

Read Colossians 2:16-23

the word RULES in a fancy blue block font with a shiny light effect

Have you ever lamented over all the rules you have to follow? There are best etiquette techniques involving place settings, curfews, and speed limits, to name a few. Then we can look spiritually and never forget the 10 Commandments or the rest of the law God gave Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. While the world’s rules can limit us and direct us, God’s rules empower us for service and loving others.

We’re not to be condemned for living the way God desires. Paul says it plain as day. He also alludes to the fact that Jesus radically changed the rules. For Gentiles not familiar with the ways of the Jews and the rich history of being in relationship with God, this was terrific news. They didn’t have to worry about a lot of ritualistic behaviors. There is freedom in Jesus for everyone!

Jesus came, and God’s rules were changed and made new. For those in Paul’s audience from Jewish background, their idea of the law was, in part, tradition. They would have a totally different picture of what the law was and what “rules” were to be followed. Jesus made it easy for us. Love God. Love other people. The rest can be summed up with those two.

Jesus ushered in a new promise or covenant. Jesus had come to offer us eternal life. It’s the future for us, those chosen with a desire burning inside knowing we’re meant for some greater purpose. God has been waiting for us to report for duty. There are plenty of others that haven’t felt this tug inside drawing them back to Jesus.

All our lives, we have been being prepared for this moment. Our preparations will not look the same. We’re all just a “work-in-progress”! The rules of the world we have been taught have been ingrained into us. Yet when we look to the world’s limitations, isn’t the better option the freedom we have in Christ? We can then truly become who God designed us to be.

God’s rules don’t seem to be a burden at all when you believe and trust in Him. You realize that God has always had your best in mind. His rules make sense. Looking back at my life, my low times are mostly when I went off galivanting on my own not seeking God’s help at all. As if I knew better! What was I thinking? I don’t think I’m alone here, am I?

“These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” Think about that. The world’s rules, no matter how pious or ascetic they may be, provide no help in conquering our evil desires. Wow! That’s a powerful statement! Our loving God, on the other hand, wants to cleanse us from unrighteousness and nourish us with his word.

What do rules mean to you?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray . . . Lord, I admit it’s hard for me when I feel controlled. I’ve worked hard in my life to not be taken advantage of by people stronger than me. Now I treasure the freedom of being your child and living my life in ways that honor you. I can still take charge and do my best to not fall into the lies of the world. Keep my eyes on you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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