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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Dec
07

Old Years Resolutions

Jon Burgess

Scripture

“You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:7-10‬

Observation

Paul was making it clear they didn't need to wait for another time, or a better, but "now is the time" to throw out the old and put on the new! He addresses specifically the sinful ways we treat each other as the very habits God wants to change through Christ. There was a lot of tension between the Jewish and Gentile believers as they were comparing and contending for their proper place. Paul makes it clear that our proper place is at the feet of Jesus as we 1."learn"- which means it doesn't come natural to treat each other with respect, 2. "Know your creator- our vertical relationship with God impacts our horizontal relationship with those around us. As we see ourselves the way our Creator made us we see the others the way He does. 3."become like him"- this becoming speaks to a life long process of sanctification and transformation. We can't break bad habits over night. But, we can start breaking bad habits and learning new ones right now.

Application

In just three short weeks we will be celebrating the new year of 2018. After the celebrations have died down people will begin to stand on their scales and make a resolution to lose a few pounds. People will see how they have been ignoring their spouse or not spending time with their kids and they will resolve to spend less time at work. People will admit that they feel far from God and start attending church more. People will take those habits of smoking and drinking and sleeping around and determine they are done. These New Years resolutions will last, according to recent studies, at most three months. Then everyone will fall back into their sinful routines that they've been perfecting for years. Why? Because true transformation outside is impossible without a true transformation inside. True transformation inside is impossible without a daily relationship with our Creator. This is what Paul is encouraging us toward. When should we start this new or renewed relationship with our Creator? In a couple weeks? No! Right now! Let's get rid of the need to make New Years resolutions because we have followed through on our Old Years Resolutions to spend time with Jesus. Christianity isn't about self-help through moral constructs and religious lists. Christianity is about getting as close to Christ as possible in a daily pursuit through His Word, by His Spirit, and in unity with fellows believers around us. Paul does write a list here of things we should not longer be doing, but those lists are not the focus, the Lord is! The transformation isn't for later, it's for right now!

Prayer

Lord, I pray that relationships would be healed this year because we pursue a deeper relationship with You. I pray that we Your people would not procrastinate or hesitate to be honest that there's a lot on this list in Colossians 3 that we are still walking in. Thank You Lord that it's through relationship, not rules, that we are set free from the patterns of our past that have tried to define us.


Devotions for December 07

Colossians 1,2,3,4

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