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”Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.“ Colossians 2:20-23 NKJV

In 1937 the Lutheran German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote an all time classic named “The Cost of Discipleship”. Never had a book marked me that deeply, and a particular line especially: grace is free, but it is not cheap.

What the man of God meant was that though grace is undeserved and unearned, every man with an expectation to grow in it must willfully choose to take a course of action that enables it to perform what it was destined to. The course of action consists of personal and group exercises of disciplines that spur growth.

In our theme scripture, the apostle Paul awakens us to a reality of how exercising these good disciplines without the understanding of the analogy of the farmer which I shared in yesterday’s devotional simply ends into worshipping our will power, turning it into an idol itself.

We end up taking pride into what we do, how we excel in it and use it as judgement against those that may not have grasped it and discourage them in the process. As people saved by grace, we cannot take pride in our disciplines such as who fasts most, who is in every Bible study or who serves every weekend.

We take pride in the divine power that drives our roots downward and cause us to bear fruit upward. Like the farmer, we don’t glory in the seed, or the tilling or even the watering. But in the one who provides what we cannot afford like the sun and the rain. Selah!

So when you fast, see to it that before everyone knows, it is dealing with something profound in you that you know very well you had no way to help yourself out of. When you fellowship with the brothers and sisters in Christ, let it be known that you are primarily there to learn from others what shall be a great addition to what you received from God in your secret place.

When you serve, forget about your voice, or your ability to demystify mysteries or even how nice you look as you hold the doors and welcome the fellows in the presence, let the discipline of taking that mundane, unpaid for task as one that earns you the greatest pay because in essence, it does (Matthew 6:19). Hallelujah!

Prayer: Father I thank you for this word. Like David pleaded, create in me a clean heart for mine is deceitful and only you can truly know it. I surrender and yield it to you continuously, that you may mould it after Christ’s, to the glory of your name. Amen! 


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