I work at my church, and my official job title is Outreach and Community Life Ministry Assistant. One aspect of my job is to keep track of all our resources for small groups such as books and dvd curriculum. I am in the process of reorganizing all the materials and creating a better system for people to search through our catalog. As I am going through all our materials, I am looking up the books and making sure that they are still in print. If they are no longer in print or just outdated, I am pulling them off the shelves because they no longer belong. It can be frustrating to a group leader to become interested in a curriculum only to find out that it is no longer available to purchase materials. Yesterday, I looked at how Christ is our life when we become followers of Him. This also means that there are things in our life that no longer belong because they do not fit in with our new life. Please read Colossians 3:5-7.
This may seem like a contradiction from chapter 2 when Paul wrote about not worrying about all the rules; however, Paul was actually continuing on with the theme of the entire book of Colossians. Last week, we looked at how legalism was not the life we need to live in Christ. We do not do things (or not do things) in order to gain salvation, instead our salvation is what motivates us to do the things that pleases God. These verses are showing us what things are part of the sinful nature and they no longer fit with who we are in Christ. If we continue to hold on to our old nature, it will hinder our walk with Christ. The author of Hebrews words it this way in Hebrews 12:1 (NLT), "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." This sin is like a weight that slows our journey with Christ and can even trip us up. Instead, as we throw these things away, we can run the race rather than dragging our feet.
We are told that sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed are what brings on God's anger. James warned us about evil desires in James 1:14-15 (NLT), "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death." These things don't belong in a person whose life is Christ. Paul reminds us that these are the things we did when we were a part of the world. As we looked at verses 1-4 yesterday, we are to think about the things of Heaven because that is the world we now belong to. We no longer do the things our culture says is okay, we do the things that belong in the Kingdom of God. Let us no longer conform to the culture around us and live Kingdom bound lives.
Are you living according to the world's culture or according to Heaven's culture?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesday and Soli Deo Gloria.