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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Jun
16

Taste And See!

Jon Burgess

Scripture

20You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21“Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23These 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. Colossians 2:20-23

Observation

There is wisdom in strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline but there is no salvation. Paul is reminding the believers in Colossae that they have already been set free from the "rules and regulations road to heaven" mentality of religion. The truth is that religion with the Savior feels safer then relationship with the Savior because it feels like we're in the driver's seat.

Application

Does this mean I don't have to deny myself or devote myself to His Word or discipline my body? Of course not! It's just the heart from which I do it! Am I reading God's Word on a daily basis to check off a box or know my Savior better through His Words? Am I fasting and praying to make myself feel more spiritual or remove the distractions that impair my intimacy with Him? What scares my about this passage is that Paul is literally describing what most Churches emphasize. It's the "what we do" instead of the "why we do it". What's the heart behind the spiritual disciplines we call our people to? If I'm not careful, as a Pastor, I am simply calling people to behavior modification falling short of life transformation. It reminds me of being in this giant toy store with my boys and all the signs saying "do not touch". That's torture for a kid. Or being invited to a party where all the food is on display but no one is allowed to eat it because it's part of the decoration. Jesus came and said, "come close, touch my face, look into my eyes, hear my voice." He is the "why". He is the reason we keep ourselves from sin and pursue a righteouslifestyle. My relationship with Him should be a preview of heaven! Instead of "don't touch, don't taste, don't hold" Jesus invites me to take all of life with Him! Whether I'm fasting or cutting into a Ribeye He invites me to share the experience with Him. Yesterday, I surprised Cyndi with a Renewal of Our Vows here in Maui where we had honeymooned 21 years ago. As Pastor Kipi prayed God's blessing over us the ocean water came, as if on cue, on washed over our dry feet. This is the Jesus I serve. He is saying, "Don't be led by Your senses, be led by Me. As you are your senses will come alive and you will taste, touch and see all the beautiful things I have put here on earth to draw you closer to myself." I experienced this yesterday. My God, my bride, the beautiful beach of Maui. It truly was a spiritual experience I will never forget.

Prayer

Psalm 34:8 is a beautiful invitation to relationship over religion: "Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." True transformation comes not from a list of rules and laws carefully adhered to, but from a relationship with You that moves me closer to Your heart and away from the things that would seek to sever our connection. Help me Lord, to never lose the why of Christianity. It's often easier to reduce it to a "5 ways to a happy marriage" or "do your daily devos or else", but this falls so short of what a shared life with You is really all about! Intimacy with you is what I desire and that's what it's all about!


Devotions for June 16

1 Kings 17,18,19
Colossians 2

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