In Colossians, Paul is giving instruction to the church to set your heart and mind on things above instead of on earthly things. It is when my mind dwells on earthly things for a period of time that I know that my life is getting a little out of balance. It may not be recognized at first, but if I continue down that path I feel it down the road. Then it takes a little longer to get back on course when I have drifted for a while.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. - Colossians 3:1-4
In order to put your heart and mind on things above, you will need to put to death the things of this world. Paul goes on to say,
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. - Colossians 3:5-10
Have you ever put together a “To Do” list? Many people live by them. It helps to organize yourself for success if you keep up with it. How about putting together a “To Be” list?
When you think about it, “being” is much deeper than “doing.” “Being” relates to character, who we are, and how we make a life. “Doing” is tied closely with activity, accomplishments, and tangible things. “Being” has to do with intangible things, the kind of people we become deep down inside that cannot be measured by impressive awards. “Being” will ultimately outdistance “doing” every time.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with, “Doing.” I prefer to work on the “Being” part that will impact my “Doing.” Read on in Colossians 4 and see if you can spot the encouragement to “Be.” Be watchful and thankful, be wise, let your conversations be full of grace and seasoned with salt. It’s all good.
This Sunday we will continue to look at the Church as we look at what the Body of Christ should be like instead of just do.
May God give you many opportunities to “Be” all that Christ has filled you to be.
Joy in Jesus!
A familiar verse that many quote is found in Romans 12:2 that says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” It is a great verse to memorize and live by. The enemy will never let up getting us to transform to the worlds pattern.
The letter continues and quickly goes into how important the Body of Christ ought be to each one of us. When we make church what we each want it to be by treating it like a buffet is slipping into the patter of this world. The church is not a building it is people. You have probably heard that many times. Why is it that we treat it like a building? Look at the next few verses.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:3-5
The book of Acts talks about the first church but there are many letters or books written to churches found in the New Testament. Starting this Sunday I want to begin a series on how important Jesus wanted his church to be for each one of us. We are all an important part of the body. I pray that as we participate in the series, “I Love My Church,” that we will be overwhelmed at the blessed privilege we have to be a part of the church.
I do love my Church. I am excited to come through the Scripture and see how God intended Church to function as we see the glory of God fall fresh on us.
Invite someone to come with you and let’s see God do so much more than we could ever imagine.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene