Friday, April 1, 2016

Filling Our Thoughts With Heaven

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.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Colossians 3:1-4

We have written about the book of Colossians before and how Paul, the writer, is attempting to show us the supremacy of Jesus Christ, the freedom we have in him, and the right path we find in living our new lives in him.  One of the editors in the study Bible I use from time to time uses the phrase, "Don't lose your head," in describing the mystery of newness of life. We are accused sometimes of losing our head when we show our temper and make rash decisions. But the writer of the study materials I am referring to here is talking about the event of the head actually being separated from the body. 

I am not a medical doctor but I do know enough about the body to inform you when the head is removed, the result is death. As gruesome as that might be to us, it's actually the message of Paul to the Colossian church, concerning some who try to live the Christian life without the proper respect and relationship to Jesus Christ. In fact, that is the primary message of Paul in writing to the church in Colosse. The life of the church flows from Jesus, its head, and the source of spiritual life. 

It may seem strange, but some of the Christians this letter is written to, had began to debate the truth about Jesus being the head of the church. Bear in mind these were people who had acknowledged Jesus death, burial and resurrection.  They claimed him as Savior. Then they tried to bring practices and beliefs from their knowledge of other ancient religions and "blend" it in with Christianity.  Some of their beliefs had actually included the removal of Jesus in his role of being the head of the church. (Sound familiar?)

Paul's message to them and to us is that Jesus in not just a part of our newness of life, he IS our new life. That prompted Paul to tell the Colossians it is "Christ in you, which is your hope of glory."  He then adds, "If you have accepted Christ, you must continue to live in him, in obedience to him, and grow in him." I particularly like the phrase from Colossians 2:7, "Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done."  From Paul's writing and instruction here, we come away with the message that our total dependence in spiritual matters rests on Jesus Christ alone.  It is he that offers salvation, through his death on the cross.  It is he that covers our unrighteousness with his righteousness. 

In the beginning of chapter 3, Paul pleads once more, "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts."

Having a rough day?  Let heaven fill your thoughts. Struggling with life's perplexities? Let heaven fill your thoughts. You name the problem......Let heaven fill your thoughts. 


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