Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Don'T Let Someone's Opinion Shape You

We are free in Jesus and yet we allow ourselves to be enslaved by the opinions and words of other people. It is amazing and sad to watch people who know the Word allowing themselves to be swayed by someone who doesn't. There is something about man's traditions that still pull at us. Man's traditions tend to lean more to salvation by works than salvation by grace and such an attitude will kill you.

We have been set  free from such things so don't allow yourself to be enslaved again just because people do not know the Word. Your freedom is in Jesus and Jesus alone. Apostle Paul warned:

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)

Anything that God had established before Jesus was just a poor reflection. a mere shadow, of what is found in Jesus. The Temple, the sacrifices, the festivals conveyed a reality that we find in Jesus. So when we have Jesus we have it all. This is why the apostles taught that there is no longer any value in circumcision of the body when Jesus brings a circumcision of the heart. Before Jesus, there was one day set aside to celebrate God. The other days of the week there was not much thought other than work. Now, through Jesus, we are in the presence of God seven days a week and every day is a celebration of our God.

There are some Christians who do not observe Christmas or Easter. They celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus every day. A person is not more holy if he celebrates them and less holy if he doesn't. The only thing that matters is that everyone is alive in Jesus because everything is made complete in him. The celebrations of festivals is not what matters; it's the relationship with Jesus that does. The day of the week that believers meet together is not what is important; it's the meeting together to celebrate Jesus that does.

Traditions are hard to break out of because they are something tangible, concrete, measurable. We like things that are measurable; money in bank accounts, completed to do lists, report cards. We like to have our works and accomplishments measured and recorded. Our problem with Jesus is that he is all about relationship. Although there are some things that are slightly measurable in a relationship, like the time spent together, much of the quality of a relationship cannot be measured. This is why we measure it through acts of devotions, festivals, observances and traditions. But what was purposed for the enhancement of our relationship often takes away from it as it begins to replace the relationship.

It is like a husband and wife who set aside one night a week for a date night. The idea is to be a little more romantic and have some quality time together. But soon it becomes about the restaurant they choose or which movie to watch. The rest of the week they ignore each other, relying on that one night to make up for it. The purpose of that night, the building of a relationship, soon becomes the destroyer of the relationship.

Our Father completed the relationship through Jesus. We do not need any enhancements. If you are alive in Jesus you already have everything you need. Don't allow someone's opinion to add on to it. Don't let someone's lack of understanding over burden you. Don't permit someone's judgement effect your freedom in Jesus. To have Jesus is to have it all; you don't need anything else.

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