The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians about the place Christ should hold in their lives—the greatest position of importance possible. And we, those calling ourselves Christ followers, would be wise to similarly apply the truths written by Paul. To be clear, a heart genuinely changed by a personal relationship with Christ will, in turn, reflect that changed life. Many Christ followers can speak to the challenges of choosing God first in every area of our lives. Doing so is not an easy nor perfect process, but it is necessary to become Christ-like.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
I am confident Paul carefully (and intentionally) chose the words “put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” He makes it very clear that there is no place for anything in our lives that disconnects us from God. The sin and evil desires around us (and often in us) smack against the new life that God has given us. When we give them place in our lives, we miss out on the peace he has for us, too.
Yesterday, we talked about the danger in striving to be like God. This includes relying on our own strength to “put to death” our sinful desires. We don’t have to do this on our own, though. Jesus has freed us from it through his death and resurrection.
This truth becomes the focal point of our new life. Now, when we read our Bibles, it reminds us of his grace. When we pray, it connects us to him. When we worship, we remember who he is and what he has done. We don’t do these things to free ourselves from our sins, we do them to remember that we already are free.
This gives us strength to identify and name those sinful patterns in our life and remember they no longer have a grip on us. We are free to live the new life God has given to us. Free to identify those areas of sin in our life. As we name them and give them over to God, he takes his rightful position of importance in our lives.
What are the areas in your life that hold a greater importance than God?
What sinful areas need put to death in your life?
Establish people in your life that you can talk to about your areas of weakness. Consider joining a Group.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me as I am. Thank you for loving me as a precious child, not as a pathetic, lost kid—even though at times, I am pathetic and lost. Thank you for guiding me on the path you have prepared for me. Infuse me with your presence and your power to pull down the detrimental strongholds in my life, and surround me with your unconditional love and forgiveness when my weaknesses get the better of me. Help me to remember my sufficiency is in you and you alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Karen Peck. Karen retired in March 2018 from Lucas County Information Services. She has been married over forty years. Karen rejoices over God’s faithfulness and God’s patience in her life and in her marriage. Nothing matters more to Karen than her relationship with God and her entire family. Her immeasurable faith in Christ and His ability to restore the broken runs deep within.
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