Sunday, September 2, 2012

Setting your heart and mind on things above ...

Some people are "so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good!"  Maybe you've heard that said before.  It is not meant as a compliment.  Usually those who say such things are talking about people who are very open in their expressions of praise to God or who have a way of bringing God into every conversation.  Such people may merely be trying to encourage others by pointing to the God who created the world and who cares about people, trying to help people to look at life from a different perspective; but such an attitude is often considered to be lacking common sense and is thought by those who don't recognize God's hand at work to be unrealistic.  Most people, it would seem, think that God has better things to do than to be intimately involved in our lives.  Yet, the Bible teaches exactly that!

Where is your mind throughout the day?  What is your first thought when you wake up, or your last thought before you go to sleep?  When experiencing God's blessings throughout the day, does your mind immediately move you to give thanks to Him from whom all blessings flow?  When faced with trials, are you moved to run to the One who is able to strengthen you, to give wisdom and hope and peace in the midst of the storm?  What does God mean when He tells us to set our hearts and minds on things above, where Jesus is seated at His right hand?  (Colossians 3:1-4).

I think of heaven often.  I remember my Dad two days before he died asking me what I thought heaven was like.  I answered him the only way I could - from Scripture.  One of the most beautiful descriptions of heaven is found in Revelation 4.  Like Isaiah (6:1-3), John sees God on His throne being worshiped and served by living creatures beyond human description.  John says that "day and night they never stop saying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come'" (Revelation 4:6-8).  John describes a scene so magnificent that it is beyond imagination, yet it is here that God tells us to set our hearts and minds.  

When you are thinking of heaven and what lies beyond the veil of human limitations the Spirit of God does something amazing - He lifts the burdens of this life from your shoulders, He removes the fear and anxiety produced in your mind by earthly things and gives you the "peace that passes understanding," which Paul talks about in Philippians 4:7.  Once again the mind and heart are mentioned:  "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Thinking about heaven, you see, is not only a good thing to do, but is the answer to the stress and anxiety of life in this world.  Heaven is a reality that exceeds what people call "real life."  As you and I live life, Jesus is on the throne and the angels are singing - 24/7!  They never stop!  And you can join them, no matter what is going on in your life ... IF you set your heart and mind on things above.

Tomorrow we'll look at Psalm 73 ... more about a reality too many people know nothing about ... the God who is worth seeking, knowing, loving and serving.

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