Week Thirty, 2020
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
Look around the world today. Look in your community and, yes, look in your own heart and mind. The economy is in shambles and who knows when it will recover, racial strife is at an all-time high and the pandemic continues to threaten the health and lives of everyone.
Paul wrote to the church members in Colossae, issuing a stern warning. Many of them were strong in their faith, but many were influenced by strange religious ideas and practices, worldly in nature. He wanted them to know that Jesus was with God in heaven and is where their worship, thoughts and worldly activities should be directed.
He makes it clear that since we have been saved by Jesus, we should not participate or even think about the sins that trap unbelievers. He lists some of those and encourages believers to demonstrate compassion, humility, patience and forgiveness.
Proverbs 23:7 warns us what we think about in our heart we become. What occupies your thoughts? That’s a challenging question and one we should not ignore. In many ways, we are what we think. If our thoughts are focused on the concerns of this world, we will become like the world. But if our minds are set on the things above—in other words, where Christ is—we’ll become more like Him.
Things of the world will lose appeal. The more aware we are of Jesus, the less we tolerate sin, because we know it doesn’t fit us anymore. Instead of chasing the passing pleasures and goals of the culture, we’ll pursue a lifestyle of obedience to the Lord.
Your beliefs determine your perspective on life, and that shapes your priorities and attitudes. The decision is ours to make. We can look at the world and let it drag us down or we can look up and let Jesus forge our thoughts and our patterns of life.
The point of all this that Paul is making is simply calling on his people to set their minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. He points it out explicitly in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Which way are you looking and thinking?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
BIRTH RATE FALLS TO A 35-YEAR LOW:
U.S. births have dropped to the lowest level in 35 years. About 3.75 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2019, down 1 percent from 2018, according to provisional data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control. The total fertility rate in 2019 was 1,705 births per 1,000 women, well below the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself: 2,100 births per 1,000 women. The total fertility rate has been below the replacement rate since 2007. I wonder if that number is down because approximately 862,320 abortions were performed in that year.
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Jim Elliot said, “He is No Fool Who Gives What He Cannot Keep To Gain What He Cannot Lose.”
Peter Drucker said, “the number one characteristic of an effective leader is that he or she enjoys people.”
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift-up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:6
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
If there is a mist in the pulpit, there will be a fog in the pews. Tony Evans
We know the cost of everything, but not the value of anything. Ken Whitten
Treat every person you meet as if you will meet them again. Jim Denison
Get a glimpse of God’s vision for your life. It will change who you are. How you live. And where you will spend eternity. Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
No matter what you face today, your Father is as close as your next prayer. Jim Denison
Throughout life we all have problems of various degrees. God doesn’t protect us from them, but He prefects us through them. Family Life
If service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you. Marcus Rogers
Wise people know what they don’t know. Chip Luter