Focused on the Things Above

Jesus Shaped Living: Focused on the Things Above




Focused on the Things Above

What do you think about, when you’re not thinking about anything in particular? That may seem like a strange question at first. But it’s an important one. What do you think about, when you’re not thinking about anything in particular? In other words, when you’re not forced to think about something specific, where does your mind go? Where do you find your thoughts drifting towards? Put another way: What occupies your thoughts in the moments you are free to think whatever you want?

 John Owen, the great seventeenth century preacher, once said that “…voluntary thoughts are the best measure and indication of the frame of our minds.” If you want to know how spiritually minded you are, take an inventory of your thoughts. How often do you think about the glories of Jesus Christ? How often do you think about eternity? Do you find that your mind naturally gravitates towards these things?

 I think our text this morning presses us to ask such a question. The Lord, through the Apostle Paul, is urging us to see that our minds matter. Why? Because one of the keys to living the Christian life is to have the proper mindset. If we have any desire to live out the Christian faith, we can not do it without properly orienting our minds. Don’t believe me? Listen to what Paul says on two different occasions in the book of Romans:

 [5] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. [6] For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)

 [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

 What happens with our minds is a matter of life and death. And the only way to experience true change, is to change our minds. The central idea of these four verses is clear, simple, and direct: Seek and set your mind on the things above. The only was to live out who we are in Christ is to orient our minds toward heavenly thinking.

 Now chapter three is a bit of turning point in the book of Colossians. In the first two chapters, Paul has laid out for us, in glorious terms, the doctrine of Christ’s supremacy. And from this point forward Paul is going to apply that doctrine to everyday living. And that’s not to say the first two chapters were impractical or wanting in application. But as the letter builds you begin to see an indispensable reality - believers are united to the supreme, sufficient savior who is is the center of the universe. And without that, all of our attempts at Jesus shaped living are a waste.