May 17th

Heavenly Mindset

1If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  Colossians 3:1-4 NKJV 

One of the challenges of living as the person God created us to be is bringing our thoughts into obedience to Christ.  One of the disciplines that will help us do this is setting our minds on things above, where Jesus is, instead of on carnal things.   Thinking about carnal topics helps revive our old sinful self that was buried with Christ in baptism (Romans 6:11).  When we think instead on heavenly things, we deny the old self the power it needs to be revived.  It therefore stays dead and buried where it belongs.   

Having a “heavenly mindset” is important because sin usually begins in our thoughts.  It is there where the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life compete for opportunities to entice us to go astray.  If our thoughts are dwelling on carnal topics, it’s virtually guaranteed we will be sinning soon after.   

How do we set our minds on heavenly things of the Spirit?  Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 NKJV, "Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."  With that in mind, here are some examples of ways to direct our thoughts upward:

·        Spend time relaxing and enjoying in nature

·        Meditate on passages and verses from the Bible

·        Listen to spiritually uplifting music, like praise and worship music

·        Keep company with positive-minded people who will strengthen your faith

·        Speak encouraging words to others and avoid all criticizing; look for the good in people and love them as God does

·        Daily recall and thank God for the blessings in your life

·        Stay in touch with God through an open dialogue of prayer

·        Carefully screen your entertainment decisions and choose activities that will help your relationship with God and not hinder it  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer: 

“Lord God, I praise you for providing new life for me through Jesus.  Thank you that I can bring my thoughts into obedience to Jesus and focus my mind on him.  Thank you that I am a co-heir with Jesus and I have the power through the Holy Spirit to live as a truly transformed person. Please help me to daily set my mind and heart on heavenly things and not carnal things.  I lay the current concerns in my life before you now and ask for your help in resolving them: ________________(list).   Thank you, Father, for helping me with these concerns. I receive your perfect peace, which surpasses understanding.  Thank you that it guards my heart and my mind in Christ.  I praise you now and forever.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”