Reaching for Heaven

Author: Jonathon Fuller — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: October 13, 2020

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Reaching for Heaven

We all are faced with the temptation to look godly to those around us. We may go to church, volunteer to pray, pray before every meal, refuse to use bad language, and the list could go on. But does a list of actions truly reflect how close we are to God? Fairly early on in Christianity, a trend toward something called asceticism arose. Asceticism is the belief that the strict discipline of bodily pleasures is key to growing closer to God: the more you resist earthly comforts or pleasures, the more holy you are considered to be. An ascetic monk by the name of Simeon Stylites believed in asceticism so strongly that he lived on top of a pillar for almost forty years. By the end of his life, the pillar he was living on was fifty feet high! Simeon believed the further he removed himself from the physical comforts of this earth, the closer he would be to God. According to the book of Colossians, Paul actually teaches the opposite. When referring to ascetic practices, Paul says they “have an appearance of wisdom” but are in fact worthless (Colossians 2:23). Following God isn’t about making yourself look godly on the outside—instead it’s about having faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, relying on Him for our salvation and spiritual growth. Piety and good deeds don’t save us or win God’s favor. As we rest in Jesus and His work on the cross, we remember we belong to Jesus and nothing can take us out of His hands—that living on top of a pillar won’t make God love us any more or less. By faith, we are secure in Jesus’ work for us (Matthew 11:28; Ephesians 2:8-10). • Jonathon Fuller • What actions do you sometimes believe will make Jesus love you more? • Read Romans 8:38-39. In Christ, can anything separate you from God’s love and His promises to save you? • To learn more about what it means to put your trust in Jesus, check out our “Know Jesus” page. 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. Colossians 2:23 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Colossians 2:16-23