I’m not a camper. Never been, never plan on going. As my husband says, my idea of camping is staying at a Holiday Inn Express instead of the Ritz-Carlton.
But this last week I actually have been camping out – on a certain passage of Scripture. I can’t read it enough. Paul delivers so many nuggets of truth in these verses that I can’t seem to soak them all in, even though I’ve read this chapter many times before.
Take a few minutes and read Colossians 3. It starts with “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ…” which sets up the rest of the chapter. In other words, now that you have accepted Jesus into your heart, what should your life look like?
I guarantee you whatever sin you struggle with is found in the next several verses.
Paul gives us a list of sins we need to root out of our lives. And he doesn’t want us to just halfway deal with our sin – verse 5 starts with, “Put to death…” That’s pretty strong wording if you think about it. If I put something to death I squeeze every bit of life out of it. It exists no more. “No bubbles” as I heard a coach say once. And putting to death the one or two sins you struggle with the most just ain’t easy.
‘Cause right about the time you think you have anger, slander, sexual immorality or greed (just to name a few from Colossians 3) all taken care of, satan sneaks in like a thief and tempts you with the one thing he knows will undo all the hard work you & Jesus have done together.
But the awesome news of the gospel is this: Jesus has conquered it all, and through Him we have forgiveness of our sins. We don’t have to struggle all alone and we don’t have to carry around shame and guilt. When we truly repent of our sin He is full of mercy and grace, able to forgive us of things we have said or done, things other people won’t forgive us for, things for which we struggle to forgive ourselves.
So as you camp out on the sins you need to put to death, don’t be discouraged! Jesus has already put to death every one of them and longs to help you do the same. Don’t be shy, don’t be proud – be humble before Him and pray for wisdom, pray for guidance, pray against the sin that binds you in chains.
He is faithful. He is merciful. He is ready and willing to help you deal with Paul’s list found in Colossians 3 – whenever you are.