Session 14

Jesus didn't die so you could DIY

From Colossians: A 28-Day Devotional

When's the last time you read a self-help book or watched a do-it-yourself video? Revenue from such items reveals millions of people are searching for ways to “lose 20 pounds,” “become a better cook,” “be more organized” or “stop smoking.”

But let’s be real honest: How many of us who read that self-help book and tried to do it ourselves actually succeeded? Some things can't be accomplished on our own. 

In Colossians 2, Paul reminds Christians in Colossae of this. They died with Christ to the spiritual forces of this world. So why were they continuing to submit themselves to the old way of doing things? Rather than putting their full trust in Jesus for salvation, they did what a lot of us do. They hedged their bets. They confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior but continued to follow the old religious systems — just in case. 

Some rules appeared helpful, as many church regulations do. But self-imposed restrictions are no match for sin (Colossians 2:23). 

Sin affects all of us  (Romans 3:23). The desires of our flesh are too strong to fight through rules and restrictions alone. That's why we need Jesus. The law showed us we cannot overcome sin on our own. We needed Jesus to wipe the slate clean, to give us a new nature and a new identity.

Religion will always try to legislate morality with rules. Religion will always ask you to clean yourself up before you can be accepted. Galatians 5:18 says “if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not under the law.” No law, rule, or regulation ever changed a person’s heart. Only Jesus has the power to defeat sin in our lives.

Reflect:

  • Do you struggle with a recurring sin? How are you fighting it now — by yourself or in the Spirit?
  • Are there any rules you've put on yourself that aren't from Jesus? 
  • What's one thing you know you need to do in light of what you read today?

14 of 28

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

Do you need a gratitude adjustment?

thankfulness

Ever feel like you are taken for granted? If so, you’re not alone. When we don’t receive the thanks we feel we deserve, we find ourselves...

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Session 2

The Gospel is always the answer

If you are overwhelmed by life, take comfort in this: Jesus is making all things new.The same good news that changed you is spreading thr...

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Session 3

What happens when act on what we know

We’ve all met people whose actions don’t align with what they say they believe. Knowing stories and verses from the Bible isn’t nearly as...

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Session 4

Jesus brings us into the light

Often, we stroll through life without a care in the world, consumed with ourselves and blind to the darkness around us. We fail to recogn...

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Session 5

You have been made new

What controls you? And before you say, "nothing," consider the ways we cede control every day.Maybe you refuse to schedule anything on Sa...

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Session 6

God’s great mysteries have been revealed to you

One day, Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"He replied, "Because the knowledge of the s...

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Session 7

These two things will change your life

Ever feel like God is distant? Like you’re playing a cosmic game of hide and seek?The truth is that more often than not, we’re walking ri...

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Session 8

We’re all called to reach out and help

Who do you turn to for help when you’re struggling?At the most difficult moment of Jesus’ life, He took His disciples to the Garden of Ge...

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Session 9

How to know what’s true

Children quickly take others’ opinions as their own.Ever met a little boy who agrees with everything daddy says? Or a little girl who bel...

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Session 10

Surrender is just the beginning

Each of us has a story about how we came to know Jesus. Whether we met Jesus as a child, a teen, or just last week, the moment we met Jes...

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Session 11

Who are you pointing people to?

Many of us have experienced the joy of being recognized for doing something well. From childhood to adulthood, we are rewarded for doing ...

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Session 12

Are you living debt-free?

When Peter asked Jesus how many times to forgive someone, Jesus told him a story about a guy drowning in financial debt. This servant owe...

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Session 13

Following Jesus is not a popularity contest

The divisions broke down something like this: band kids, ROTC kids, jocks, smokers, geeks, preppies, and finally, the ultra-cool kids who...

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Session 14

Jesus didn’t die so you could DIY

When’s the last time you read a self-help book or watched a do-it-yourself video? Revenue from such items reveals millions of people are ...

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Session 15

How we become the people God knows we can be

Change is hard. It takes weeks, or even months, after a move to get used to a new commute. At the end of a long day, when there’s lots on...

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Session 16

What are you craving?

Have you ever gotten a food craving so bad your mouth started watering just thinking about it? Why do you think your body craves that cer...

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Session 17

You can be angry and not sin

When’s the last time you were angry? Not "I’m frustrated," but "I want to break things, I’m so angry."What got you to that place? How in ...

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Session 18

You were made for change

In school, we learned how a caterpillar builds a chrysalis and, over time, emerges as a butterfly. While inside the chrysalis, the caterp...

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Session 19

No one gets it right all the time

No one is consistently kind, humble, gentle, patient, forgiving, and loving on their own.Left to our own devices, we’re patient until som...

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Session 20

Is peace really possible?

Young and old, married and single, we all long for peace. The problem is that we’re often looking for peace in all the wrong places.We te...

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Session 21

We’re all designed to bring God glory

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing it right?Whether we’re raising kids, going to school, or building a business, deep down, we want t...

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Session 22

How to stay connected to your Father’s heart

Have you ever forgotten your place? Spoken a little too directly to your boss or parent?We’ve all been there. We can get caught up in wha...

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Session 23

What salt does for food, you can do for others

At first glance, this is a strange request: "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought t...

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Session 24

Life is better together

Sometimes, encouragement comes through a hug and a homecooked meal. Other times, we find courage as we lock eyes and hear stories of God’...

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Session 25

How to help a friend who’s hurting

In Colossians 4:11, Paul thanks the believers who comforted him in his time of need. None of us has experienced first-century imprisonmen...

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Session 26

Will you go to battle in prayer?

What does working hard look like to you? Sweating it out at the gym. Tackling that kitchen reno you’ve talked about for years. Moving a f...

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Session 27

As your circle grows, so do you

After Paul came to know Jesus, he traveled extensively, starting churches wherever he went.Much of the New Testament is made up of Paul’s...

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Session 28

If God did it for them, He can do it for you

The closing lines of a letter are often the most important. The end is what the receiver will remember, what they will take away from all...

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