Camping Through Colossians Day 3
Day 3 with Campers
Pray: “Father in heaven, after today this camp will be halfway over. God, we know it was your sovereign will to bring each leader here and each camper here. We pray that today we would be sensitive to your leading, filled with your Spirit, bold in the power of the gospel, and willing to do whatever you ask of us. May we serve with our whole hearts today, by you and for you. Reveal yourself to us now, through your Word. Strengthen us so we may serve you and our neighbors today. Amen.”
Read: Colossians 2:16-23
Let No One Disqualify You
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Put On the New Self
3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is yourlife appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Read and Respond:
Today’s passage starts with “therefore.” Go back to verse 13 and read through verse 15 to remember why it’s there. In your own words, what reason is “therefore” there for?
Verse 16 makes a reference to four Old Testament laws. What are the references? Paul says the Colossians should not be judged in relation to these practices because they are what? (v 17)
Verse 18 lists three things that the Christians at Colossae might be insisted upon doing by those in their community. What are they? What kind of attitude might these works of the flesh produce? (v 18)
It’s easy to puff ourselves up by various works of the flesh. In Colossae it was asceticism, angel worship, and visions. What might be the works of the flesh that we are tempted to perform in own contexts? Or in the cultural context of this camp? Or even at camp itself?
Paul calls the Colossians and us to hold fast to the head, which is Christ. Remember chapter 1 verse 18? Christ is the head of the body, the church. What three things does Christ do for us according to verse 19?
g__________ _________ ______ _______________ _______ _____ from God.
Remember and rest again in the truth that growth comes from God alone. We do not have to manufacture our own growth or the growth of our campers. It is from God through Christ, our head.
Paul asks us an important question in verses 20-22: If we have died with Christ why do we still act as if we’re alive in the world—why are we tempted to obey worldly regulations even after we’ve become Christians? What are some worldly precepts and teachings that you’re tempted to obey? What do you think are some worldly precepts and teachings the campers are tempted to obey?
Paul says these worldly teachings have an _________________ _____ _____________ (v 23) in promoting ___________-__________ _____________ and ________________ and ______________ ____ _______ __________.
But they are of no value in stopping the ___________________ ____ _____ __________ (v 23).
Why do you think manmade regulations are so tempting and yet they don’t actually keep us from indulging our flesh? Why do we constantly want to turn back to manmade ideas and efforts? This is clearly a universal sin condition, as it was a struggle in Colossae 2,000 years ago and it’s still a struggle in your cultural context and your camp context today. Ask the Lord to show you where you’re being self-reliant and where you’re seeking worldly values. Ask him to replace that with a growth that comes from him alone.
Verses 1 and 2 of chapter 3 command us to do what? What do you think are the differences between the things that are above and the things of earth?
What difference does it make that Christ is sitting at the right hand of God right now?
What are the implications of us having died and our lives being now hidden with Christ in God? (v 3) There are clearly implications for our thought life, as the prior verses command us to set our minds on things above. But what are some other implications for other parts of our lives like our actions, feelings, values, goals, relationships—even the implications for this week at camp?
In your own words, what does verse 4 tell you is going to happen?
Turn to Revelation and read 5:9-10. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain. And by his blood he ransomed a people for God who are from every
n____________ (v 9)
and Jesus has made them a ______________ and ____________ to our God, and they shall ____________ _____ _________ ____________. (v 10)
This restoration of creation IS coming. This consummation of history IS going to happen. All of history is hurtling towards the reality of Christ’s reign forever and ever. There is no better way for you and me to spend our days than to invite others into relationship with Jesus, so that they too may be amongst the kingdom and priests foretold in Revelation.
Be encouraged today that you are participating in the most important work for this age—proclaiming Christ and him crucified, risen, and coming again.
Pray: Confess to God the works of the flesh that you are tempted to perform and the ways you puff yourself up. Confess ways you’re tempted to do that at camp this week and ask him for help and a desire to grow with a growth that comes from God. Ask God to help you set your mind on the things above. Ask him to help you remember and rest in the truth that your life is hidden in him with Christ. Praise and worship our Lord for the coming reality of the New Heaven and Earth. Praise him that people from your own people group and from the people group that you’re in right now will be there. Pray specifically for the campers that the Lord has placed you with. Pray fervently for their salvation, being encouraged that you are asking in Jesus’s name and he is even now sitting at the Father’s right hand.