Set Your Minds on Things That Are Above

February 17, 2015

Hello friends, just a quick check-in today . . . in the last ten days I have seen a theatrical presentation of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce; traveled to Decatur, GA, where our covenant group memorialized Steve Hayner; underwent medical testing to investigate my vocal trouble; camped near the ocean in glorious weather;  and otherwise got a lot of mental and spiritual space. My head and heart are so full of these events and their lessons, I need an extra day to sort it. I will say this much: God continues to clarify my call and give me a view into my soul. My spirit is finding peace in a new way, with a breakthrough or two specifically setting me free in Christ. Colossians 3 talks about a radical transformation and the choices we are called to make in cooperation with God’s renovation of our hearts. This dynamic between the old self (dead to me) and the new self (alive in Christ) is very real and present. So in the days to come, I’m sure some of this will come out as I continue my comments on Colossians and those admonitions of chapter 3.

Until tomorrow, some questions for your consideration:

1. Reread Colossians 3:1-3.

2. In the last ten days, when have you “set your mind on things above”? What was the result of doing that?

3. In the last ten days, how have you been stuck on “things that are on earth” (some described in Colossians 3:5-9)?

          A prayer of confession might be appropriate here . . .

4. How is it possible to “set your mind on” things above when earthly things require or demand your attention? Is it possible to do both at once?

5. In the struggle to put your attention on things above, how has God helped? What might be an encouragement to you, or to a friend struggling with the same dilemma?

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6 Responses to “Set Your Minds on Things That Are Above”

  1. emd5542 Says:

    Thank you, RevMary. I look forward to more. The 365.org devotional [2 Cor 4:3-6] for Feb 17 seems complementary. I am reminded, as we all need to be, to guard against temptations brought on by the world, the flesh and the devil. Someone recently opined that “social justice is the new idol.” Perhaps if it’s named it can be tamed! Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and Lent begins, God’s perfecting timing to get us right again.

  2. Jodie Gallo Says:

    If social justice has become an idol, that might explain why there seems to be so little of it in reality.

    • emd5542 Says:

      That that which is not scriptural and of God to Congress and the President. It does not belong in the church. Let the courthouses of the US issue and sanction. That is all.

      • Jodie Gallo Says:

        Don’t know what church you belong to where you use a Bible that does not call you to social justice. The word appears 138 times in my NRSV.

        Take Deuteronomy 16:20 for example: “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

        Or Deuteronomy 27:19: “Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

        Or Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow”

        and many many others, but my all time favorite from Amos 5:23-25

        “Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
        I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
        But let justice roll down like waters
        And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

        So you see, according to Scripture, Social Justice belongs in Church even more than hymns and music. Just sayin…

      • emd5542 Says:

        Oh I subscribe to all of Scripture but making same-gender marriage a matter of social justice is definitely outside of the Bible. Next I suppose will be the right to assisted-suicide because no one should suffer and after all we’re in charge of our own destinies. Culture is not on the throne of truth but God most certainly is.

      • Jodie Gallo Says:

        Ahh.

        Well, the Church has had a very poor historical record on discerning where the line really is regarding social justice. Maybe there is a line, or maybe there isn’t, but if there is a line I am sure nobody knows where it really is. Even though they swear on a stack of bibles they do, they never have and they always change their minds. I like the waters metaphor. God’s version of Social Justice is like a Tsunami. It invades everything and you can’t hold it back. Those who try eventually drown in it.

        But, since we are trying to set our minds on “things that are above”, I would presume that the topic of marriage would never come up, since according to Jesus “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Mat 22:30). Unless of course we discuss the marriage of Christ and the Church, in which case “gender” seems to be meaningless, as the “bride” is made up of men, women, and children.

        Can’t speak to suicide either. The Roman Catholic doctrine is that suicide is an unpardonable sin because you can never confess it or repent from it. But that is not the Reformed position, so I don’t get the fuss. I come from the Reformed tradition. We must all die, and suicide is just one of the many ways by which people die. Again, it is not a “thing above”. But is it really just to force them to suffer every measure of pain that modern medicine can provide? Is there a line in the sand and who can say where it is? Our track record is just appalling.

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