On Things Above

On Things Above

by Ken Alvis

Have you looked around recently?  It appears to me everything is upside down and the world as I knew for so many years is no more.  Conversations with others often revolve around the disarray of the world, and I use phrases like “I can’t believe this” or “Are you kidding me?” The world gets us down, doesn’t it? It is full of distractions, temptations, and promises of happiness that never fully deliver.  Here’s the rub: when we focus on these earthly things we forget about the blessings and promises we have as a child of Jesus Christ.

God’s Word gives clear direction about what should be our focus.  Colossians 3:2 says simply,” Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Let’s explore this.  Why do we look at earthly things? Typically, because we think it will serve us somehow – like bring us comfort, identity, or pleasure.  Another reason is our singular focus on day-to-day occurrences and responsibilities – like our schedules, health, family, and possessions, to name just a few. We become wrapped up in our lives and the world we live in and forget the foundation and identity we have in Christ.

When the primary focus is on earthly things, we have no peace.  Well, I would like peace, wouldn’t you? And the only way we can have true peace is when our thoughts are on Him.  Isaiah 26:3 states “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Think about this, peace should govern our minds. Does peace govern your mind?  If not, turn from worthless and temporary things and instead rest in the security and peace in the sovereignty of Christ.

One of the best ways to set your mind on the things above is by daily absorbing God’s Word.  How can we have peace and joy if we only consume the things of this world?  The Word of God has been given to help us in spiritual growth as well to focus us on the things above.  We are encouraged in this by Colossians 3:16 which says, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”  We are charged to share the Good News and discuss heavenly things with others. So, doesn’t it make sense that reading and discussing Christ-centered things will refocus our minds from the things of this world to His truth?

Also, giving thanks is essential.  Colossians 3:17 is clear: “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Giving thanks is not only a natural way of gratitude for Christ’s grace, but it also helps to do the work He has given us.  This is a reminder of who we are and moves the focus from our worries to God’s power to save and provide. May this be our focus – to set our thoughts and heart on the things above and have peace.
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