May 11, 2020

Good Morning Saints,

It is easy for our thought to get pulled into our everyday activities. With our active lifestyles and the fast pace world we live in, keeping our focus can be difficult.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:1-3 (NIV)

Paul starts this chapter with the word since, what does this mean? Well, we have received new life from God through the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result of this we do not need to struggle and work to attain that spiritual life, as the false teachers were trying to tell the church in Colossi, we already have new life! What remains is to work out its implications in daily life. Because we had been raised, we have a clear responsibility to Christ, who has raised us.

First, we must set our sights on the realities of heaven. The Greek word for “set” means to seek something out with a desire to possess it. Many other religious teachers stressed “heavenly things” also, but Paul was appealing to the highest reality of all, the exalted Christ.

The believers must take their focus off the world and turn it to Christ. Christ’s who is seated at God’s right hand reveals his power, authority, and position as both judge and advocate. The Colossian believers already had experienced this exaltation, they were born again, they needed to set their sights on heaven so that they would live out their lives on earth as citizens of heaven.

Letting heaven fill our thoughts means concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal, letting our thoughts dwell on Christ. We are to focus on the Lord Jesus.

Thoughts can influence actions, so if the believers would place their thoughts above and not only here on earth, their actions would please God. The things on earth refers to the legalistic rituals, the false methods used to achieve holiness, and even to the basic principles of the world described in Colossians 2. But how were they to fill their thoughts with heaven? Paul had explained this in another letter.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Phil 4:8 (NIV)

What occupies your thoughts? That’s a challenging question and one we should not ignore. In many ways, we are what we think. If our thoughts are focused on the concerns of this world, we will become like the world. But if our minds are set on the things above, in other words, where Christ is, we’ll become more like Him.

The point isn’t merely to think about heaven but to think on Christ, who is in heaven. When we do this, changes will start to take place.

  1. We will gain an eternal perspective. Instead of being distracted by trivial things and discouraged by hardships and pain, we’ll be devoted to living for Christ.
  2. Things of the world will lose appeal. The more aware we are of Jesus, the less we tolerate sin, because we know it doesn’t fit us anymore.
  3. We’ll realize our security is in Christ. Right now, we are hidden with Christ in God.
  4. We look forward to a glorious future. When Christ is revealed, then we will be revealed with Him in glory. Even when everything looks dismal, we have a reason to hope because our time here is short compared to eternity with Christ.

Your beliefs determine your perspective on life, and that will shape our priorities and attitudes.

God bless you as you and keep you.
Pastor Dennis