Thursday, May 1, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 132: Why Are We Different?

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 132, May 1, 2014
Readings: Psalm 131, Numbers 11, Isaiah 50, Colossians 3:1-17

It's often asked of Christians, in fact, it's even often asked from the pulpit these days: "Why are we different? Why should we be different? How can we be different? Are we better than everyone else? Do we think we're more important? What makes us think we can have restrictions on how people live their lives?"

The truth? We're not different from everyone else. We can't be. We're not better than everyone else, we can't be. We're not more important. Christians are still human, still broken, still sinful.

Christ is not. And that's how we're different. That's how we're changed. The admonition is not that you personally need to be a better person, a more moral person, a changed person, a this or that. No, it's that if Christ is in you, he will ask you, and empower you, to be more like him. He is the only reason we can be good, changed and different. And it's not that we are better, but that His light shines in us. We carry His goodness and long to serve Him, not ourselves.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on Earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and coveteousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:1-5)

God is the change in us, and wants to put to death the things that plagued us in the past. He wants to set us free. Who we were, all our messed up brokenness, can be completely healed in Jesus. And because of Jesus, we can be:

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)

God makes the change. God is making us new. We are completely free and redeemed from our past selves, no longer burdened and held down by who we once were. We don't have to wonder if we can be free, because it is not our responsibility. It's not our job, it doesn't rely on us! God desires your freedom, and has given himself for it.

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