Colossians 3:1-4 - If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Who are the persons in your life who have exerted a powerful and lasting influence? They may have awed you with their grace under pressure ... or their talent ... or their imagination ... or even ... their mercy. Their mercy? Have you ever seen mercy in action? It happens. There's the neighbor who offers it to the teenager living next door—the one who sideswiped his parked car. There's the woman who goes easy on the dry-cleaning worker who messed up her order, causing her to have to change outfits.
People like this—people who go beyond what we usually expect from human beings—are impressive, aren't they? They show us a way of reacting to circumstances that's out of the ordinary, in a good way. How this unexpected quality must have impacted the apostle Paul when he encountered the Person of Jesus—the One who showed him mercy in ways he neither deserved nor expected.
Surely, the apostle Paul struggled with the weight of the world bearing down on him after his conversion on the road to Damascus. His strident persecution of Christians must have heaped up huge loads of mental "dead wood" he had to deal with from his former life: his ridicule of believers, his bullyish stoking of others' ill will against them, his "thumbs up" to their execution. No slight baggage here. No easy way out of that past! Even though Paul knew his sins were forgiven at the cross, the world is a brutal taskmaster, choking us with our past failures, condemning us in our own minds and in the minds of others.
In the face of this, Paul tells the church at Colossae (and us) to go beyond the world, to seek the things of God—of Christ—who is at God's right hand. That's where Paul had to go, and he surely went there daily. That's where he found reassurance of his new life and that the old life was behind him, slain at the cross, "hidden with Christ in God." In Christ alone: that's where Paul resided. He knew that though his former life was riddled with sin and ignorance, God had claimed him through the blood of His Son to a new start, a fresh beginning.
And that new beginning can be yours, too. "Seek the things that are above, where Christ is," and trust in Him for your redemption.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You took our old, dead selves to the cross and there we died with You. Lift us up to be the people we can be for You, and others. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. How can we learn to elevate our thinking to "the things that are above"?
2. Do you take any special comfort from knowing that your life is "hidden with Christ in God"?
3. How would you share the truths of the text above with someone else?
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