I know for most of us, our days are filled as we try to maintain our busy schedules. We also often focus on our worries of today and the concerns for tomorrow. Maybe I shouldn’t even ask this question. But when was the last time you set your mind on the things of heaven? That however is precisely what the apostle Paul told us to do in the third chapter of Colossians.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3
What urged Paul to make that statement? The audience he was writing to were Christians. Often times we Christians allow ourselves to get bogged down with the cares of this world. So much so, that we don’t give eternity much of a thought. Look what Paul wrote in the first verse.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Colossians 3:1
In the next few verses, Paul told us how to set our minds on the things of heaven. He said we must stop doing the sinful things we did before we met Christ. Then he told us why.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. Colossians 3:5-6
Steps to Set Your Mind On Heaven
He didn’t stop there though. Paul included another list of sins we need to get rid of. This list comes with urgency, “Now is the time.”
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Colossians 3:8-9
I realize some of the things we did before we accepted Jesus are hard to shake. But God realizes that as well. Therefore He sent us the Holy Spirit who helps us to become more like Christ. Look at what the next two verses say.
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Colossians 3:10-11
His instructions continued as he gave a mini-lesson on the Fruit of the Spirit. It’s in these instructions that Paul gave us the foundation for being able to keep our minds set on the things of heaven
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13
The Glue That Binds Us All Together
After that exhortation, he gave us two more valuable and important points. Let me illustrate them with this. Did you ever try to glue two pieces of something together? You applied the glue and then you had to hold the two pieces together until the glue set. The next verse talks about the glue which binds us together.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14
In the verse that follows, Paul told us how to hold things together as the glue, which is love sets deep into our hearts.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Lord, right now as we are speaking to you we pause and take a deep breath. We’re taking this time to set our mind on the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Help us to understand how we have died to this life. And now our real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3 is a short chapter, but you can read it here.
A related post called Neither Wealth nor Works will get Anyone to Heaven is worth reading.
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