Look Up!

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 3:1-9 (day two) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. vs. 2

Believe it or not I used to consider myself a runner. I enjoyed my time in distance training, especially in the Fall in the Midwest. One of the things that I remember from some particularly long runs was the tendency to keep my head down. It was during these times that I was constantly focused on how much farther I had to run. My mind was constantly trying to figure out how far I had run and my energy to be able to finish. Those runs never went well. When I remembered to look up it was different. Something about seeing what is ahead and around you that changes your focus. Paul is encouraging us to do this very thing. Look up, get your focus on Jesus. When you fixate on him everything changes.

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 10/21/19

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 3:1-9 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Colossians 3:1-9 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Fullness of Christ” a study of Colossians.

Self-made Religion

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day seven)

It seems as if it would be wise to make more rules. If we abide by the rules, we stay out of trouble, so more rules means that we are further from trouble. As our focus becomes about the rules, we forget why the rule was set in the first place: to lead us into a deeper relationship with God. 
A self-made religion is one that focuses on actions in attempting to reach up to a certain level of spiritual maturity that we might please God. The beauty of Christianity is that we have a God that reaches down to us because he is already pleased.  If our goal is to please God through our actions, we will always fall short. The true measurement of our spirituality is in the willingness to set our pride aside in conformity to the Head. In our conformity we will begin to walk in step with Him, move as He moves, and look more like Him. 
Rick Henderson

Gift

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day six) 

…going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head… Colossians 2:18b-19a

God always intended to put His revelation down on paper. Something we could hold in our hands, read with our eyes, and come back to time and time again. The written Word is a thousand times more valuable than visions. I’m certainly not saying God doesn’t use visions, at least historically. What I am saying is God knew what He was doing when He put His Word in a book.

You can’t cross reference visions. You can’t know which one is from God, and which isn’t,… unless you check it with God’s written Word. This is why Paul warns against so called visions that originate from the minds of men, and he points us to Jesus, the Head (notice the play on words, mind and Head).

Be grateful for God’s gift of revelation in His written Word. It will never mislead or misdirect, and even when we get it wrong, it will always correct us.

 

Legalism

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day five) They have lost connection with the head,from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

The first danger Paul addresses in this section of his letter, is legalism. Deep within the human heart is the temptation to quantify spirituality.  Why is there such a lure for keeping rules and regulations?  The feeling and desire to be successful is strong the human heart. When that feeling for personal success overshadows most everything else, that is pride.   And the results of legalism are mentioned in verse 19. A disconnection from Jesus. No relationship, no friendship, no communication. Also, no growth. No progress. No discipleship. Legalism comes with a strong warning and a great cost 

Warnings

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day four)

Legalism, mysticism, asceticism…all dangers to be alert for.  In our passage this week, Paul begins to address some of the problems that precipitated his letter to the church in Colossae.  He is issuing warnings of danger ahead…pitfalls that can sidetrack their/our relationship with Christ and take them/us down a path that can render them/us ineffective and valueless.  Paul speaks of being defrauded…deceived from what is rightfully ours in Christ.

What would Paul warn the church today of?  Where have we been deceived and sidetracked?  Would he caution us about the prosperity gospel?  Would he write to tell us not to place our hope in political parties or candidates?  Would he warn us to focus upon the Word of God and sharing the gospel message?  In today’s cultural and political climate, we can easily get deceived to champion causes that are valueless.  Guard against the perils of Satan’s deception and keep your eyes upon Christ!

Preempt

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day three)

“No one is to act as your judge.”

Paul knows what he’s taking about. He left Pharisaism and entered a religious tradition—Christianity—already beleaguered by the most powerful rules humanity has ever known: unwritten rules. And this was a man who was shaping Christianity in its earliest expression. Even he found himself on the receiving end of condemnation by fellow believers. Paul encountered judgmental voices, and so will you. One of the most inviting ways to respond is to adopt the motto “Judge first lest ye be judged.” Is anybody listening to Paul’s words?

You’re a Baptist?!

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day two) Things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. v. 17

Stop me if you heard this response before: Oh, you’re a Baptist. You mean you don’t drink or dance?

Paul, like Peter and his vision in Acts, was dealing with both ceremonial laws that no longer held the same meaning since Jesus atonement, and to the customs of other cultures. We have clear lines of right and wrong, but they only carry a substance of what is to come. We need to be focused on what defines us as believers.

Wouldn’t you rather people say: Oh, you’re a Baptist! You have the greatest mission organization in the world. You guys have the highest regard for scripture than anyone. It is amazing how you have responded to Jesus’ call to love your neighbor.

Let our zeal for Jesus and love for his people be so great it will be what we are known for.

 

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 10/14/19

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:16-23 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Colossians 2:16-23 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Fullness of Christ” a study of Colossians.

The Supper

Re:Verse passage – Colossians 2:8-15 (day seven)

And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses. (Colossians 2:13)

Don’t miss this verse this week.  It holds one of the great Truths we proclaim.  When we are obedient to Christ’s call to repentance we are completely forgiven and set free from the dominion of sin.  It is for this perfect gift that we celebrate today in worship and in the Supper.  We gather and we partake because God has made us alive together with Him.

As we prepare for the Supper today remember this word from 1 Corinthians:  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.  Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  (1 Corinthians 11:27-28)

May we examine ourselves this morning, and find our hearts pure by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.