Day 322: November 18, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Colossians 3:1-4
1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.
—Colossians 3:2

The Lofty or the Godly
by Derek Webster, Missions Mobilization Minister, Brentwood Campus

Most people don’t have a problem with exclusivity. If the cure for your child’s cancer is a very specific drug with a 100% cure rate, the response wouldn’t be, “That’s unfair! Why that drug and not every drug?”

Instead, one accepts exclusivity. To gain access to life, one has to give up all options that lead to death.

When a man falls in love with the girl, he doesn’t mourn that he didn’t fall in love with every girl. Instead, he’s elated that he found love. And his thoughts are consumed with the girl even as the cancer sufferer is consumed with the cure.

As Paul reflected on what it means to be alive in Christ, he tried to express that as we give our lives to God we gain life—and that life is held in the person of Christ. Moreover, that life spills out of us. It works in overflow.

Paul’s encouragement is that since we’ve found life in Christ by dying to self, it makes sense that we’d then abide in the very life we now possess. What does that require? Some would argue that our minds are to be fixed on “lofty” things (“set your mind on things above”). They would try to focus their minds on profundity or impracticality.

But is that the example Jesus set? To the contrary! Jesus came and was filled with life. He loved people. He ate with sinners and tax collectors. He had a sense of humor. He was pragmatic. And that stood out in complete contrast to Pharisees who were legalistically trying to be “lofty.”

The Pharisees wore their prayers on their heads. Jesus conversed with God. They tried to deny the very world in which they lived. Jesus worked to love and redeem others. They tried to pursue the thing. Jesus was all about the person.

This is what Paul is describing. A mind set on things above is a life consumed with the mission and heart of God. It’s a life working to see itself as God sees it and to love others as God loves them.

Christ becomes all-consuming because the secret to true living is found in Him. And it’s in that pursuit of a godly life that we’re made alive.

Reflection Questions

  1. How do you confuse what is “lofty” and what is “godly”?
  2. What’s the greatest barrier to your mind being consumed by God?
  3. How have you been “resurrected” with Christ?
  4. What are you living for? Is it a thing or a person?

About the Author

Derek Webster

Derek Webster is the Missions Mobilization Minister at Brentwood Baptist Church. He regularly teaches all over the world on cultural engagement and strategy. He, his wife Melissa, and their three sons served for 10 years with the International Mission Board in Western Europe. Prior to that, they served for 10 years in full-time ministry on the West Coast. Derek’s hobbies include music, sports, and reading.