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These tumultuous times are pushing many believers toward a necessary redefinition of the meaning of life. Things we counted on in previous years (a stable society, basic foundations of morality, core behavioral values) are threatened by a rapidly changing culture. Beyond these societal storms, many of us face an uncertain future as we battle personal challenges, manage terminal illness, or endure family stress or breakup. Whatever the nature of our problems, they clearly provide an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the nature of the Christian life. The good news is that we can turn to God's Word for the highest and best definition of this earthly existence.
In part one of this devotion, which you can read HERE, we considered the meaning of Colossians 3:4, where we read of "Christ, who is our life." In an effort to embrace this truth, we looked at two key commitments:
Remember Your Status! – We are "raised with Christ" (Col. 3:1) and must fully embrace the implications of this truth.
Refocus Your Pursuit! – We must "desire those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1).
Three additional commitments, found in Colossians 3:2-4, are vital to a core redefinition of our life.
Recalibrate Your Thoughts
When a computer or smartphone fails to function properly, the user is commonly instructed to restart the device. Our cluttered and distracted minds often need a similar intervention—usually many times throughout each day.
Colossians 3:2 states, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth." Literally, this is the idea of a continual commitment to "fix the attention" or "give serious consideration" to something. "Things above" speaks of matters of eternal significance. These should become the dominating focus of our mind and its considerations.
Our thoughts determine our behavior and future. In light of the constant bombardment of needless information, tempting images and carnal input from people around us, we must re-engage our disciplines of thought on a daily basis.
Our minds naturally drift to temporal and worldly concerns. They become polluted by the influence of the media and culture. We must embrace a proactive and purposeful pursuit of things that are noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).
Reaffirm Your Death
Dead people do not respond to any external stimuli, no matter how enticing it may be. Colossians 3:3 tells us, "For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." As Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ." In writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul reiterates that believers are dead to sin (Rom. 6:2, 7 & 11). Already in Colossians, Paul has told these Christians that they are not subject to religious regulations because they died to the power of rules and legalisms (2:20).
Every day, because Christ is our life, we must reaffirm that we do not have to respond to the values, demands and expectations of a fallen world. We can live as one "dead" to these allurements and one fully alive and defined by Christ.
Rejoice in Your Destiny
Ultimately we must keep our hearts fixed on the hope that "Christ who is our life" will appear, and that we will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4). Eternity, along with its reward and ultimate worship, is just around the corner. Any definition of life other than Christ will fail to provide joy and ultimately evaporate into irrelevance.
All that we currently see with our physical eyes will be gone. All that attracts our attention in this media-crazed, technology-driven world will pass. This is not a reason to grieve the loss of these fleeting things. Rather, it is our incentive for hope and endurance as we focus on the things that really matter. Paul's words encourage us:
For this reason we do not lose heart: Even though our outward man is perishing, yet our inward man is being renewed day by day. Our light affliction, which lasts but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Likewise, Peter encouraged suffering Christians with these words:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away, kept in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now, if for a little while, you have had to suffer various trials, in order that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-7)
What joy! We are being guarded by almighty God for an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for us. God is keeping score and His heavenly scoreboard is the only one that matters. Yes, it will be worth it all—and that will be glory for us.
So let's trust our Savior to give us this grace for a high-definition, high-impact and highly rewarded life. I encourage you today, and every day, to remember your status, refocus your pursuit, recalibrate your thoughts, reaffirm your death and rejoice in your destiny. It is all possible and provided through the triumphant life of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Copyright © 2017 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Strategic Renewal.
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