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Thoughts for the new year
January 10, 2011
by Pastor Dan Swanson, First Baptist Church, Cokato

I have not been one of those people who make new year’s resolutions. But, I have decided that I will take the counsel of the Apostle Paul and apply it to my life each day.

Here’s what Paul wrote:

“If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on the things of the earth.” (Col.3:1, 2)

Note, first, that this is a conditional statement. The word “if” narrows this to a certain group of people. “If” anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature (2Cor.5:17).

Earlier in his letter, Paul wrote that He (God) rescued us from the Domain of Darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. (Col.1:13) Have you truly met Jesus? If so, then God has brought you into Christ’s kingdom.

Next, Paul says to keep seeking the things above. (Col.3:1) We who have met Christ have a dual citizenship. We are members of this physical world into which God placed us by physical birth; and because we are physical, we have concerns that are a part of this world.

We spend so much of our time and energy seeking the things that are here and now. Paul’s command for those who have been transferred into Christ’s kingdom is that we keep seeking the things of that kingdom, keep seeking the things that are above. To seek this world is natural! To keep seeking the things above is supernatural.

Third, Paul explains how we keep seeking the things that are above. He says, “Set your mind on things above.” Tune in to the things of God!

I recognize in my life that I have choices. The Internet brings all kinds of things into my mind. The television and radio, too, have all kinds of things to watch and to listen to. Make up your mind to tune in to the things that are above. Choose the right things!

When I was younger, my friends used to say, “You are so heavenly minded, you’re no earthly good.” That certainly worked on me, because I wanted to please my friends and those I thought I needed to impress.

I was lacking Paul’s perspective. He was a first class religious person. But after meeting Jesus and becoming a member of Christ’s kingdom, he changed his tune. He became “the chief of sinners,” who set his mind on the things above, and he tells us to do the same.

Tune in – keep seeking, make wise choices! Join me?