Monday, January 15, 2018

Nancy Hughes: Sign on the dotted line

“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”
Colossians 2:13b-14 (NIV)

“Jude is going to ride the “Electric Slide” this year, Grandma,” my granddaughter Ella told me with a confident smile.

“What makes you so sure?” I asked her. It wasn’t that Jude hated riding the Electric Slide at Silver Dollar City; it was actually just the opposite. More than anything Jude wanted to experience that ride with his brother and sister.

The problem was that every time they got in line, Jude stood at a distance, hands in pockets, trying desperately to explain that he just didn’t like the ride but failing to hide the fact that he was just too frightened.

“Oh, he will ride this year,” she repeated, “because I made him sign a contract.” I couldn’t believe it! “You made your 5 year old brother sign a contract? Why?”

Ella, with all the wisdom of an 8 year old, replied “He keeps saying he wants to ride and then he chickens out every time. But he really does want to ride it, Grandma. He’s just scared. So I told him that when he signs a contract, he HAS to do what it says.”

I couldn’t help but ask. “And if he doesn’t? If he changes his mind again, what will happen?”

Ella gave me a sideways glance and grinned. “Well, if he doesn’t ride, Jude is going to have to kiss our dog Sadie on the mouth.” Mercy.

A written, binding contract. Paul mentions it in Colossians 2:13-14. He calls it a “written code.” It was a handwritten acknowledgment by a debtor of his debts, in other words, a type of contract that the Colossians lived by. Paul explained that no matter how hard the people tried to follow every regulation on that code, the result would always be failure.

In the same way, the Mosaic Law of their time made them debtors to God because of sin. But Paul encourages them with the good news – GREAT news – that Jesus cancelled those debts in that “written code” by nailing them to the cross. He paid in full what they could not.

Here’s my question: what contracts have you “signed” today that you have already broken? The “No-Gossip Contract?” How about the “Anti-Envy Agreement?” Or maybe the “Never Lie Pledge?”

Jesus paid in full what we never could. He tore up those contracts by nailing them to the cross. Allow Christ to cancel the contracts you are holding on to as He forgives your sins and nails them to the cross.

Oh, the end of the story for Jude? When they arrived at the “Electric Slide,” he was too short and was not allowed to ride. He received an official pardon from Ella and she cancelled the contract.

Father, thank You. Thank You for taking my sins and nailing them to the cross. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Can you think of rules in your life as a Christian that you try to obey perfectly every day?

Is your record spotless or have you failed in some areas?


Write the sins in your life that you are struggling with on pieces of paper.

Tie two sticks together in the shape of a small wooden cross. Tie those pieces of paper to the cross and toss them on a bonfire as you give them to Jesus.

Power Verses

Colossians 2:13b-14 (NIV) “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

Matthew 5:37 (NIV) “Simply let your ‘Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No’: anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

I John 1:9 (NIV) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Luke 11:4 (NIV) “Forgive us our sins, and we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Acts 3:19 (NIV) “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog, Encouragement From the War Room.)

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