EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Heavenly thoughts begin with a relationship with God and a relationship with God gives us a heavenly perspective!
I met Jesus Christ at the tender age of 13, when He visited our Vacation Bible School. My teacher told us, in depth, about the cruel death he died for my sins: the beatings, spitting, the nails in His palms and feet and the sword in His side. And as she spoke, I wondered about this man: What compelled Him? And as the question arose in my heart, so did the answer: it was love.
It was love, that while I was dead in my trespasses a sinless Jesus Christ died so that I could be declared free from the guilt of my sin and the righteous wrath of holy God, through His blood. (Romans 5:7-9). I fell in love with He who first loved me, accepting His sacrifice on my behalf, and my life has never been the same. This was the beginning of a relationship with God.
The beginning is just that, a start. The word itself implies that there is more beyond that initial point. For the believer, this more is the intimacy she develops with the God with whom she has right relationship. She will need to choose Him even after she is in the safety of His house, not for fear of being cast out but, for the joy of being close to her Beloved. And as His love motivated her first yes, it will initiate and sustain all the others.
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, died to restore our lives so we would be the creatures He had in mind: loving, kind, generous, caring, forgiving, long-suffering and self-controlled. (Galatians 5:22 - 23 and Colossians 3: 12 - 14). To be as He has always purposed us to be, we must come to think in agreement with Him. What greater intimacy is there than to share the mind of another!
The Apostle Paul encourages us in Colossians 3: 1-4,
Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (AMP).
Here, Paul directs us to "seek the things that are above, where Christ is." In other words, he entreats us to lift our vision, to look beyond the complications and messiness of daily life and to find direction for living from "above." He invites us, not to denial but, to face the realities of this world with the wisdom and peace of God. It is an invitation to have God interpret what can be seen, even while He sustains your hope for what cannot be seen, but has been promised-a life free from sin and its effects of pain, suffering and death.
This encouragement becomes even more salient because of the Coronavirus pandemic, which is sweeping the world like a storm, affecting every area of our lives: work, school, social relationships and travel. Note that Paul uses the present tense imperative, indicating that setting our thoughts on things above is an on-going action of our choosing, requiring our alertness and diligence.
Corrie ten Boom says, “If you look at the world you’ll be distressed, if you look within you’ll be depressed, but if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest”. My prayer is that we’ll all look to Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Enjoy this fresh take on an old hymn, declaring an eternal truth, by Lauren Daigle:
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.