TO CHEW ON: "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2
After we have accepted God's gift of salvation (here Paul calls it being "raised with Christ") we don't just float lazily on to heaven. In order to flesh out that new quality of life, there's determination and doing involved on our part.
Paul gives some pretty explicit instruction on that doing in our reading today. Its nature is wrapped in the verbs. To get at all their native goodness, I've looked them up in my favourite online lexicon. So here, via a simple word study are some instructions on how to live a successful Christian life according to Paul.
1. Seek (Colossians 3:1).
[seek = zeteo: To seek in order to find; to seek (in order to find out) by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after.]What are we to seek? Those things that are above.
2. Set your mind (Colossians 3:2)
[Set your mind = phroneo: to direct one's mind to a thing; to seek, to strive for.]What are we to set our minds on? The things above, not on things on the earth.
3. Put to death (Colossians 3:5)
[Put to death = nekro 3499: to make dead, put to death, slay, to deprive of power, destroy the strength of]I can relate especially to "deprive of power." How does one do that physically? One way is to stop feeding the thing.
What things are we to put to death, i.e. stop feeding? Fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, covetousness.
4. Put off (Colossians 3:8)
[Put off = apotithemi: To put off, or aside, or away]What are we to put off? Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, lying.
5. Put on (Colossians 3:10, 12)
[Put on = enduo: To sink into (clothing), put on, clothe oneself.]What are we to put on? The "new man" (which is unhindered and uninfluenced by race or position), tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forgiveness, love.
6. Let the peace of Christ rule (Colossians 3:15)
[rule = brabeuo: to be an umpire, to decide, determine, to direct, control, rule]Where is Christ's peace to rule or be an umpire? In our hearts. I understand this to mean that we pay attention to the state of the heart. When we are uneasy or not peaceful about something, that is a sign that something may be spiritually wrong.
7. Let the word of Christ dwell (Colossians 3:16)
[Dwell = enoikeo: to dwell in, to dwell in one and influence him (for good).]What are our hearts and minds to be full of? The word of Christ, living in us, in all wisdom, so we can teach, admonish one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord.
Do you notice how much of this starts in the mind? It is our original and basic battleground.
PRAYER: Dear God, these instructions are plain — not hard to understand. But putting them into practice in my life is another thing altogether. Help me to live them today. Amen.
MORE: Canada Day
Today we celebrate Canada and her 148th birthday. There will be festivities in cities and towns around the country. If you are Canadian, however you celebrate, Happy Canada Day to you!
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.