We are dead… live like it!
Following the presidential election this week I have become concerned for the spiritual state of our nation, especially with the church in America and where our hearts are. As I was listening to a popular local radio personality mutter on melancholically about his future it made me think of the numerous social statuses posted by fellow Christians late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Now I love our country and I pray for our country. I am concerned about our freedoms and for the economic outlook of our nation. I want there to be an environment that is conducive to achieving success in this life. But I fear many of our brethren, let alone the world, have lost sight of the real goal.
Colossians 3:1-4 has some sobering, yet foundational, thoughts for you and I to consider:
- If you are a Christian you need to have your eyes on eternity! Many Christians have forgotten the big picture. We can’t see the proverbial forest for the trees. Paul uses the idea of looking at “the upward things” and not on “the lower.” In Philippians 4:13 he writes “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Have we forgotten that Jesus said you should, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20)? “Setting our sights on the realities of heaven means striving to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice.”
- We need to be spiritually minded! In order to have our eyes set on the upward things we need to remember that it matters what we think about. We are responsible for our thoughts and the instruction here is to keep our thoughts on heaven. Paul is not saying here that we should never think about earthly things but that we not forget to keep those things in perspective! “He must be heavenly-minded here on earth and so help to make earth like heaven.” “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
- We have died! As Christians we are dead to this world and its worries. What lies behind the cold dead eyes of the deceased? Far too many Christians still have some old life left in them! “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). So we each need to be challenged with the words of Paul to the Colossian brethren to, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:” (Colossians 3:5).
- We have eternal life in Christ! Our eternal existence as Christians is hidden (concealed and safe) with Christ in God. “So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6). This is the proper frame of mind for those who are dead in Christ. A prerequisite to our verse earlier in Philippians 4:7 is, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” (v. 6).
- When Jesus comes, nothing else will matter! And really isn’t that all that matters?
“Seek first (above all else, especially, unendingly) the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). Be obedient to the will of the Lord, worship faithfully with the church, study diligently the word, pray unceasingly, live righteously at home, abide godly with your neighbors, work heartily and patiently and you shall be blessed! We are dead…Live like it!
Be faithful [Tim]