Ha! I've known that whenever I see a "therefore" in the Bible, I am supposed to check the preceding comments to find out what it is there for. But today I found a nugget that I've been missing while I've been studying Colossians - and I've been on Chapter 2 for over a month.
I love it because it particularly applies to me. One of my favorite kids' stories is one we don't have, "You are Special". Actually we may have it - in Indonesia - and therefore in my mind we don't own it. It's a story about not worrying about what the people around us think of us, but being so in tune with the master (in this case the wood carver) that we don't let the stickers that they keep trying to put on us stick. You'll have to read it to get the whole idea, but for this people-pleaser it's a great reminder.
Now, I think it is a bit of a stretch what I found today, but maybe not. Maybe someone who sees it differently can let me know.
Anyway, the first fifteen verses of chapter 2 are all about how we are complete in Christ. Nothing more must be done to be right with God. So then, we come to the "therefore". He tells them, because of all that, no one is to act as your judge. I mean how cool is that!!!! I love it. I don't have to follow everyone else's opinions of how to get to God - I can't, everyone's opinions are different.
All I have to do is look to Christ. I don't even look at myself to see if I've done enough. When I worry about whether I have believed enough, I am saying it wasn't finished on the cross. This changed my life when I understood this. I struggled all the time with if I had enough faith. Could I really be saved, since I hadn't really been excited about reading my Bible today? When my missions teacher mentioned that if anyone worries about if they've done enough, or prayed the right prayer or really believed, that that person is saying that there was more that needs to be done for Christ's work to be complete. So when Jesus said, "It is finished.", He should have said, "I have finished my part." Not true. He did it all. He did finish it and there is nothing more for me to do.
So I don't need to follow others' ideas of how to pray or worry when others say that you really will feel like a believer if you are. Before I understood this, I lived in fear. I worried if I skipped my devotions for a few days. I looked at myself and wondered, What if I'm not really a believer? Now I look to the cross when I mess up and remember that He paid it all. Now, I understand that it does mess with my walk with the Lord, but I don't question any longer if I'm saved. Salvation was totally and completely Him - Jesus on the cross. Discipleship is my choice and my commitment to walking with Him and studying His word.
And thanks for listening to my ramblings about this nugget I found about "therefore". :)