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May 04
2011
Mike Marshall

Awaken to the Holiness of Life

Posted by: Mike Marshall

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Colossians 3:1-2

Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

“What does it mean to set your mind on things above?” This was the question that started our small group Bible study last Wednesday. There were different answers from different people. The mom who is constantly juggling work, wife, and mother said she tried to do this by not worrying...by releasing her fears to God.

To someone else is was to think about Christ and what he had done for us. For the grieving mother whose baby girl had died not to long ago, it meant hope; a daily yearning and longing of a promise that would be fulfilled when she held her daughter in her arms again. When Paul wrote these words to the church at Colassa, I think about his ministry as a whole, and the many and continuing references throughout his writing to the coming age and the resurrection. We live in tenuous times. We only start to list the problems in our world, when we realize the list only continues to grow longer and that each item we check off is more scary than the last. What a joy and comfort that the founders of our church and faith endured far worse, that the words they penned through the Holy Spirit were born not of comfort and stability, but of strife, war, and threat of death. And yet....the teachings of Paul deal little with the the politics of the day. Of course there are references to it, but his instruction pierces straight to the heart of the Christian, and when their real life will begin: The Resurrection! Paul writes in 1 Corinthians (The Message)

“And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I'd do this if I wasn't convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beast in Ephesus, hoping it wouldn't be the end of me? Not on you life! It's the resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there's no resurrection, we eat, we drink, and the next day we die...........Awaken to the holiness of life!”

In our line of work, we not only come into contact with hardships of this earthly world...our earthy shell...but they seem to surround us. Our mission has led us into the spiritual trenches of this momentary world in an effort to stir, awaken and save those whom the Lord loves and has called. But this is not where God wants us to linger. This life and this world is only a dead seed compared to the glorious tree that will spring from the resurrection. And any hardships we face now, will only make the coming glory more dazzling in the future. So as we look evil in the eye and witness the coming age and unfolding events...I ask this question. What does it mean to set your hearts on things above? Does the new heaven and the new earth seem like a distance fantasy to be pondered sometime in the future, or does set such hope and compelling rapture in your heart --that every foot you place in front of the other is not another step towards crisis, but a movement that brings you closer to the moment your real life begins: The Resurrection.


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