Eternal Perspective (Colossians 3:1-4)

2016-Week 36There are many things constantly trying to get our attention and convince us that we deserve the latest and greatest thing. Sadly, these things often succeed. In the busyness of life, our time is precious and so often we waste it by filling it up with things that, in the long run, do not matter. In order to change this, we need to have a renewed thought process. This year the Lord has constantly been bringing Colossians 3:1-4 to my mind. These verses have helped me to view my time, situation, circumstances, and daily choices through a different mindset. While I am far from perfect, I can see how learning these verses has been a great benefit in that I am able to serve the Lord more effectively.

Paul wrote the book of Colossians to instruct the early church to address some of the same issues our churches face today. Paul addresses some of the doctrinal heresies that were creeping into the church. He realized that society could hurt the integrity of Christian faith and practice. The main focus of Colossians chapters one and two is on the supremacy of Christ and the work that He accomplished. Colossians 3 focuses on the practical application of the truths taught in the previous chapters.

Colossians 3:1-4 says, “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.”

If you have been born again and have placed your faith in Christ than you are no longer ruled by this world. Instead you have the ability to fix your mind on the eternal realities of heaven. If you have not repented of your sins, then you are not able to fix your mind on eternal things. For a believer, there is incredible truth in verse one. By stating Christ is seated at the right hand of God, it affirms that the work that He came to earth to accomplish has been completed. Therefore, we have hope and assurance that though this world is temporary, we have so much to look forward to – we have assurance of our redemption and that heaven is real.

Verse 2 begins with the word ‘set.’ The Greek verb for this word emphasizes an ongoing decision. It is not a one-time decision to set your mind on things above; it is a daily decision. Every decision we make is either made with an earthly mindset (temporary) or eternal mindset (everlasting). It is easy to know what mindset we should have but many times our actions are contrary to this. We desire that newer vehicle, the latest electronic device, comfort, family close by, wealth, and the list could go on. We tend to desire the things that are visible and tangible, but those things are only temporary. We must ask ourselves, “What motive do I have for wanting this?” So many good things can easily become idols. Therefore, we need to be on guard so the things that do not last do not easily ensnare us.

Verse 3 continues to give encouragement to the believer. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Since Christ has completed the work, we can live in such a way that we have confidence of being His and living for Him and with Him in glory. This life is temporary; we do not want to waste the life we have been given. Warren Weirsbe summarizes these verses by saying, “In brief, Paul says, ‘Live up to what Christ has done for you!’”[1] All of our thoughts and actions reflect what we believe.

Reflection Questions:

  • When you make decisions, do you consider your motive?
  • When people look at your life, do they see a life that reflects an eternal perspective or an earthly perspective? In what ways does your life reflect an eternal perspective? In what ways does your life reflect an earthly perspective?
  • Does your life reflect what Christ has done for you?

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992), 582.

This week’s devotional was written by Ethan Thomas. Ethan is a graduate from Crossroads Bible College, where he received a B.S. in Biblical Counseling and a B.S. in Management & Ethics. He is happily married to his wife, Grace. He currently leads worship and is actively involved in other ministries at Tri-County Bible Church in Rensselaer, Indiana.

One thought on “Eternal Perspective (Colossians 3:1-4)

  1. Brother,

    This is a very good post, and I enjoyed reading it. I was encouraged by it. You’ve gotten very good at writing. Keep it up, and always leave your eyes focused on Him.

    Blessings and shalom to you!
    -Joshua W.

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