Going through Colossians chapter 3 this morning...
"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." - Colossians 3:1-3 ESV
It is only when we have our minds on the things above that the things below make sense.
"When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." - Colossians 3:4-10 ESV
Sandwiched between death and resurrection was burial. All three things have already happened when our minds look above yet here we are living I life on the Earth and we have a need to put things on and off everyday.
"Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." - Colossians 3:11-14 ESV
Look above and with the finished work of Christ in mind we put on Jesus Christ. We do don't put on His behavior... we put on the identification of who He Is and what He has done for us. We find a love that binds everything together and we sure need that love because there are many things around us that have the potential to tear us apart inside and outside.
"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15 ESV
Finished work focus will produce finished work peace
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." - Colossians 3:16-17 ESV
Concepts can crystallize but when God's word of grace inhabits our thinking there is a thankfulness that can be expressed in our actions and words. The word lifts our eyes to see the above things and thankfulness fills us and we then choose to express that thankfulness. A thankful person is not lamenting their circumstances. Nothing is mundane or boring. Everything is a gift.
"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality." - Colossians 3:18-25 ESV
The inheritance is the reward. An inheritance happens only after a person has died. Who dies in order for us to get our reward?
Well, Christ died. Yes. He did... and He is now every living but His death qualified us and His heirs.
There is another death involved. We look above and see our death. The death of an old life. The moment we put off the old and put on the new we get to enjoy our inheritance. It is ours anyway but when we mind the things below we forget it is there for us. It is only when our eyes are lifted that we realize what we have.
Some of you out there are going through very difficult times. I get it. Let God's words lift your head to look above and get a glimpse of the seat that is reserved for you in Heaven. Let the hope only God can give shower your mind and put on the clean set of clothing that God has laid out for you. It is still warm and just your size.