Earthly or Heavenly?

Colossians 3:1-11 (ESV)

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. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Thank the Lord, that we have been raised with Christ! So now to work. To set our minds on heavenly things, not earthly. But There is still work to be done here. So although our focus needs to be on heavenly things, we still live here on this earth. We still need to earn a living, for as Paul says in “2 Thessalonians 3:10 (YLT) for even when we were with you, this we did command you, that if any one is not willing to work, neither let him eat,”

Although our focus is/should be on heavenly matters, we must also fulfill life’s demands on this earth as far as life goes, but our passions, what really matters, should not be what things we can accumulate, or being jealous of those who have more than we do. We are sojourners on this earth. It is not our home. When we died with Christ, our allegiance changed forever. Heaven is our home. We may not get there for a while, so we work to put food in our mouths, and to care for our families.

The list given of the things we need to put away are the things that mark people who do not have hope in God. We should be different than others. God wants us to be different so that others will see that we are different, and want the peace that we have.

Be different. Make a difference. Live for Christ, not yourself. Even in our responsibilities on this planet, we should do things in such a way that Christ will be glorified. I should do my best at my job, and help others when the opportunity arises. I should make a difference so God will be glorified.

by Virgil Stripes

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