COLOSSIANS 3:1-2: “Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above—where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What is the first thing I think about when I wake up and begin my day? The answer to this question will determine my ability to face whatever comes my way. Right now as I think upon this verse, there is a inbox in my office that is filled with papers and bills that need attention. A part of me wanted to go in there first thing this morning and knock them out. Yet, another part of me knew that this was not the way to start my day. The bills can wait, but my heart cannot!
Paul exhorts the believers at Colossae to place their focus on things that are above – where Christ holds the highest position. Paul is not exhorting us to ignore our responsibilities. Rather, Paul is reminding us of the proper focus for our life and for each day. Our life is now in Christ, and our victory is found in walking after the Spirit. We are no longer bound to serve the desires of our old sinful nature. We have been set free, and as such, are called to live and think as those who are walking in newness of life. The reality however is – this is much easier to quote in a verse than it is to do in real life!
As we read the remainder of the third chapter of Colossians we find a very practical and honest instruction on how this is worked out in our daily life. We cannot simply go through life with our eyes lifted up toward heaven – ignoring the reality of life here on earth. We don’t want to be so “heavenly minded” that we are of no “earthly good”. So how do we focus on things above, while taking care of business here on earth? Here is a brief summary of the following verses.
- Verses 5-9: Resist and get rid of your old preoccupations, patterns, and actions. Just like we clean out an old garage of clutter, so we must proactively clean out our old way of life from thoughts, patterns, and actions that are destructive and not part of our new life.
- Verses 10-11: As Paul so eloquently teaches us in Romans 6, we must remember that we are new creations in Christ Jesus! We have been crucified with Christ, our hearts have been circumcised from sin, and we are called to be renewed in our minds, attitudes, and actions, by the knowledge of God.
- Verses 12-17: These verses give us both a direction and a goal for our thoughts and actions as children of God. It is not enough to simply take off the old thoughts, patterns, and actions – we must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and begin to manifest the thoughts, patterns, and actions of our new life in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Verses 18-25: Paul closes with a reminder that this call is not to be confined to the times when we are gathered together for worship. This call is to permeate every area of our life. It is to affect our marriages, our relationship, how we raise our children, and how we act in our places of employment. The transformed life of the Christian is to be manifested in all areas, both spiritual, practical, and relational.
Lord, this morning, help me to realign my focus anew to the things that are above, and not on worldly things. As I do, as I look to Jesus Christ, as I follow after Your Spirit, renew my mind, attitudes, and actions. Let every area of my life be influenced and directed by Your Life and Your Love!
Remind me to start each day this way.
In Jesus Name!