KEEP SEEKING THE THINGS ABOVE
Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
We live amongst broken and hurting people. Almost 50% of Americans are stressed out by their work and it is affecting other areas of life. The following statistics show where the stress level is for many American workers:
-14% of employees want to hit their colleagues due to workplace stress
-58% of people in the workplace trust a stranger more than their boss
-83% of men and 72% of women state that workplace stress carries over into personal life
The above statistics are a somber reality that is all to familiar to many of us, but there is an even darker side—SUICIDE. Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year. The CDC lists suicide as one of the top 3 causes of death amongst teenagers ages 15-19.
Reality check—People are broken and hurting! Dads are hurting. Moms are hurting. Young adults are hurting. Teenagers are hurting. The question that every individual Christian and every local church must answer is, “How can we bring hope to a broken and hurting world?”
Answer: KEEP SEEKING THE THINGS ABOVE! As a Christian, you will never really impact the world for Christ until your life is shaped by heavenly realities.
In Colossians 3:1-4 Paul begins to give practical instructions on how Believers should live in the world, and the first thing all Believers must do is stop living under the influence of the world’s system and start shaping their lives around heavenly realities.
Paul states this in two parallel commands: “Keep seeking the things above” (Col. 3:1). “Set your mind on the things above” (Col. 3:2).
You who are a follower of Christ must look at the world through a new set of glasses. These glasses cannot be worn by the world’s servants. Only the servants of Jesus can wear these glasses and we must always wear them; and we keep them clean by studying God’s word. It is through His word that we see the heavenly realities that ought to be shaping every area of our lives.
What are the heavenly realities that should be molding every Believer’s life? Paul lists at least 7 in these four verses:
1. You have been raised with Christ (Col. 3:1a)You have a new position before God. You are now a participant in Jesus’ triumph over sin and death.
2. Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1c)
Jesus is presently reigning over all creation.
3. You have died (Col. 3:3a)“…our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
4. You are hidden with Christ in God (3:3b)
You are secure in Christ. Therefore, you have no need to fear rejection, opposition, or even death. You can surrender your life to fulfilling the Great Commission because God shall be your rock, your fortress, and your shield (Psalm 18:2).
5. Christ is our life (Col. 3:4a)
All of your life is undeniably bound up with Christ. Your world view, your morality, your career choices, and every little detail of your life is inextricably tied to Jesus.
6. Christ will appear (Col. 3:4b)
Jesus is coming again to judge unbelievers and gather Believers to Himself.
7.When Christ appears, you will be revealed with Him in glory (Col. 3:4c)
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).
Believer, if you want to serve and love broken and hurting people, you must be molded by these heavenly realities. Every act of submission to Christ is worth it because when Christ appears you will appear with Him in glory!
HOW CAN YOU USE THIS IN YOUR LIFE THIS WEEK?
1. Pick one reality to think about each day. Study what God’s word says about it.
2. If you have children at home, talk about one of these realities each night during your family devotions.
3. Take an honest look at your life and ask yourself, “Is my life being shaped by these heavenly realities?”
Each statistic in this section of blocked quotes was taken from https:// www.opensourcedworkplace.com/new/50-workplace-stress-statistics