Well, today was the last day of classes for the year! It was a great feeling. I kept looking at the clock, counting down the hours, and Bethany and I kept reminding each other of how many hours and minutes were left. Of course, I wasn’t as excited as I could have been, just because I know that we still have exams to go. After those, I’ll be excited. After all, I’m friggin’ graduating! I can’t even believe it; it’s craziness!
Anyways, I don’t feel like writing about today too much, just because it wasn’t overly interesting. For Math class, we didn’t do math, but watched the French class’s videos they made instead. In Accounting was a test, Biology we just reviewed for the exam and played hangman, and in World Religions was another test. I’m just glad, though, that I have almost everything done that I need to get done. Over the past two days, I’ve done Phys. Ed. questions, a Biology paper on evolution, an English essay on Huckleberry Finn, a book report, and Parenting handouts for Chapter 16. Now all I have left is one more chapter of handouts for Parenting, and then I’m finished! Well, again, except for exams, that is.
I guess the last thing I’ll say for today is just how strange things work out sometimes. Yesterday I posted about following rules just because we’re supposed to as opposed to because of our love for God. Melissa and I had a nice little conversation in the comments of the post. But then, for my Bible study for today, it told me to focus on Colossians 2:20-23. “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” It asked the question about if I were ever tempted to follow human rules in an attempt to restrain my sin nature.
I must confess, I have. I tried for so long to do that on my own. I knew there were things that I needed to improve about myself, and I worked so hard to try and better myself. But it just didn’t work. All my efforts ultimately failed. Today’s study then went on to mention the proper way to conquer the sin nature: it said to read Colossians 3:1-4 and Galatians 5:1-6 as the answer.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:1-6)
You see, Christ is the only antidote to the slavery of the sin nature. And our faith in Christ Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, expressed through love is how it is carried out. If we try to justify ourselves through the law, we’re obligated to follow it all, which is something none of us can do. So instead, we follow the rules not out of obligation, but out of love for God’s grace to us. Our faith and love in Christ gives us the power from Him that we need in order to break the cycle of sin, or “restrain sensual indulgence,” to use the language in Colossians. It’s amazing how often we puny humans place so much faith in what we can do, when in reality we can’t do much at all. And I’m not condemning anyone else before myself when I say that, because I know I’m horrible with that. It’s something God’s been teaching me – “Hey man, just trust Me. I know what I’m doing.” Some days it’s a struggle, but the great thing is that the more you get used to relying on Him, the easier it becomes. And that’s an awesome thought.