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April 17 – Remove the grave clothes!

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:5 

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:5-11

Our strongest desires are those sensual desires we share with animals—desires for food, sex, sleep, safety—and they are easily gratified. They are also easily mistaken for our deepest desires, but are intended, in fact, to point us to our deepest desires. Our deepest, most important desires are for fellowship with our Creator, for Whom we are made, and these desires are not easily gratified.

If you excise God from your worldview, you will necessarily be blind to your deepest desires. You will live as if the only desires you have are those strong and sensual desires we share with animals, as if this earth—the realm of King Sin—is all that matters. It is this orientation that Paul wants us to crucify and mortify when he says (v.5), “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you.”

Through His resurrection, Jesus has launched a new creation in which the powers of sin and death are defeated. Christian believers do not live under King Sin, whose realm is this earth without heaven, but under King Jesus, whose realm is earth and heaven.

To pursue the vices Paul lists in our text for today is to live an earthly life which denies one’s union with Christ in His resurrection. Since you were raised with Christ, get rid of the old grave clothes. Don’t live as though this earth is all that matters! To do so is to be guilty of worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, and that’s, as Paul says, idolatry.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for God to give you the strength to put to death those vices that are generated by a perspective that denies the reality of heaven and the authority of Christ Who is seated there.

Dr. Bill DeJong is the lead pastor of Blessings Christian church in Hamilton, ON and adjunct professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University in Ancaster, ON. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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