Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7 – Intricately linked to heaven

Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.  When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.  (Colossians 3:2-4 HCSB)

When our minds are set on earth, they run through thoughts such as these:  

Layoff rumors are everywhere and my blood pressure’s going crazy… I need all the office gossip I can get.
I can’t afford it, but if I stop buying my kids what they want, they’ll think I’m mean.
How did the pastor know I was complaining about the sermon?  Now I’ll have to stay away from church for a couple weeks, it’s so embarrassing.
Got too much homework, sorry church, no time for you.
I deserve a break - just one drink won’t hurt anyone.
These celebrities are so awesome, I wish I could hang out with them.
I hate my boss.  I hate my boss.  I hate my boss…

If you think these thoughts only go through the minds of total unbelievers, think again.  Good and faithful church members have thoughts like these and worse, because their minds are set on this world and not on things above.  If you could see all the thoughts that run through your mind posted up on a screen, you’d be amazed at how fleshly and negative many of them are.  As we’ve taught in our various courses, our brains have a negative bias.  That’s why God urges us to set our minds on the Kingdom of God, on things above.  It takes effort, but when we do, our life makes sense through the eyes of God.

The key here is that we need to be dead, and then we are hidden in the Messiah in God.  That means the spiritual death of our old life, our sinful desires and our selfish control over the way we want to live.  Without death to our flesh, there is no new birth, and no salvation.  Jesus died sacrificially for us to become hidden in Him, clothed in His purity, and made into a holy nation.  But first we have to die.  

When we become a new creation, we long for the new kingdom where we have become citizens. We want to think about things above, because that is where we belong.  This world is pitifully inadequate and doesn’t satisfy us anymore.  It’s like a foreigner in another country who longs for his homeland, reading about it, calling home and finding ways to reconnect with the place that’s not just the home of his birth, but the home that is intricately linked to his heart.  

Is your mind and heart intricately linked to the Kingdom of Heaven?  Do you long to look into the things above and seek out ways to know more about your real home?  If so, then you are truly God’s and you are hidden in the Messiah.  Satan can’t find you and destroy you when your mind is set on things above.  All of those thoughts listed above are easily overturned by thoughts of faith, because they make no sense in the beautiful new Kingdom where you now hold citizenship.   

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