Over the weekend I was taken with a verse in Colossians that I received as the “Encouraging Word from K-Love Radio. They come in an email every morning and I always read them as kind of a jump start to my morning that morning it caused me to seek after more than just that short verse in Colossians.
Colossians 3:1 (ESV) 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
I lingered in Colossians around this verse through this morning, along with some other passages, and just meditated on the whole concept of to “seek things that are above.”
The first thing I did was get a few the details around verse one so I read on in Chapter 3.
I read through verse 4 and could hear the passion of Paul as he wrote. He holds nothing back in his words. The power of the Holy Spirit fills his heart and he shares the teachings of Christ Jesus with such passion.
Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV) 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
It amazes me when I look at this passage. In the first to verses Paul tells us to seek things that are above and repeats it telling us to set our minds on things that are above. In the second verse, He even reminds me not to focus on things that are on earth and in the next two verses he tells us why. I cannot help but think of Matthew 6:33
Matthew 6:33 (ESV) 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:25-34 Do Not Be Anxious
I read these passages and I am reminded that God is in control and ultimately, He does care for us, but it requires a level of trust and reliance that is unnatural; it is supernatural. It also calls us to be in a relationship with God in prayer and study where we learn to listen and obey. This passage in Matthew is true, but only if you believe it and trust that God will keep His promise.
Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV) Do Not Be Anxious
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I like how Jesus closes this passage in verse 34. He does not promise it will be easy. He simply says do not be anxious.
Thoughts and Reflections
I thought a lot about these passages and the goal of both was to seek first the Kingdom of God. Christ went so far as to say that our worries should not be on the things of this world for God will provide all that we need IF we seek first the Kingdom of God. To me this is not a gospel of prosperity but I am reminded of Proverbs 30:8-9
Proverbs 30:8-9 (ESV)
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
And Philippians 4
Philippians 4:12-13 (ESV) 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
God puts before us a means to care for our families. It is not always easy, and there are still consequences that come with our own decisions. The thing I know is that I know He is helping me get through the consequences of my bad decisions, and I know that I grow stronger because of the counsel and discipline of God.
The first part of this scripture in Colossians was powerful. But I went on deeper in to chapter 3. In verse 4 Paul reminds us that Christ Jesus is our life and he sets a very powerful direction for those who believe 1-4.
Colossians 3:5-17 (ESV) 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This passage just fills my heart with joy. Paul is repeating Jesus’ teaching of seek first the Kingdom of God, and explains changes that will have on our hearts and then he reminds us in verse 17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
That really does mean everything. If you read the rest of Colossians 3 Paul gets specific.
Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV) 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
There is so much to these passages. I am always overwhelmed by the Love that God shares through His Word. My heart aches for those who miss the joy that comes from time spent in prayer and in the Word of God.
I used to think that God was a god of rules and regulations. Now I know that He loves me and all He has ever wanted is me close to Him. I am often drawn to Matthew 11:28-30
Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV) 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I am Thankful.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of where my focus should be and giving me the strength to stand in this world of distractions. I pray Lord that my eyes may always be focused on the things above and when they wander Father, You will set my eye on what it right and true.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen!