BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1,2 ESV
Life in Christ is about change. Change in direction. Change in focus. Just as repentance carries the idea of a change in direction, we see Paul giving the practical ramifications of that for those who embrace faith in Jesus. Perhaps the imagery is like standing at a “fork in the road.” The Christian life is one of direction. One that is reflected in priorities. In actions and character.
It begins with where we set our minds and our hearts. It is our thoughts and our affections. This is not some kind of mystical inoculation from our own hearts and the influence of the world around. It is a matter of day by day; moment by moment choices.
As Paul moves through his discourse he points out the dichotomy of choosing life over death. He calls believers to “put off” certain behaviors and attitudes and to “put on” that which speaks of being “clothed” in Christ.
Paul lists behaviors that are similar to his call to believers in his other letters. We see in Ephesians for example, the contrast between the “flesh and spirit.” We see him address the “works of the flesh” opposed to the “fruit of the Spirit.”
While we see specific actions and attitudes like: “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another…” contrasted with: “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another…forgiving each other….” perhaps the greatest summary is seen in Paul’s call to, “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:10 ESV)
What we need to remember is, as our knowledge of Jesus grows; as our connection to Christ is stronger; the specific actions that flow from of hearts and minds being “set” on Christ will take care of themselves.
Prayer for today… Lord thank You that life with You is about relationship, not rules. It is directing our hearts and our minds to that which is pleasing to You and speaks of connection to You.