our lives hidden with christ

Colossians 3:1-4 ESV

“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.”

Worldly Christianity

When I was growing up as a child I attended church services regularly, twice on Sundays, every Wednesday, and for all special meetings, too. My family professed to be Christians and I believed in Jesus at an early age, around the age of seven years old.

But the Christian life taught in the Scriptures was not modeled to me or taught to me at home. My father was a legalist in its truest sense, but he was also an abuser of the worst kind. He was the epitome of Satan to me, and I was scared to death of him.

Yet, even though my parents were legalistic, they were also worldly, my dad so much more than my mom. But we grew up watching TV shows, most of which were fairly innocuous back then (1950’s to 1960’s). But they weren’t all safe or following godly principles. We listened to worldly music, too, as well as we sang the hymns on a regular basis.

But this was commonplace among Christians, perhaps not the abuse, but television, which was new then, became a normal part of our lives, when the TV worked, which it didn’t always. And so I took in a lot of worldly ways of thinking along with the teachings of the Scriptures. So my mind was consuming the world as well as it was consuming the word of God.

So, I was raised that a certain amount of worldliness or worldly thinking was normal Christian living. And I think that a lot of Americans were brought up that way, going to church on Sundays, but digesting a lot of worldliness throughout the week via TV and radio. And I succumbed to a lot of that, although I was fairly discriminating, most of the time.

Scriptural Christianity

But this is not how we should live as followers of Jesus. I am not saying that all TV is bad or that all forms of secular media are bad or harmful to our Christian lives. But we need to set our minds on things that are from God, from heaven, not on things that are on the earth. We are to be filling our minds with the things of God and not with worldly thinking and values.

For, as the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we take into our minds is what is going to come out in our thinking, our attitudes, our values, our morals, our speaking, and in our behaviors. If the world is primarily what we are consuming, then the world is what is going to be primarily in our thinking, attitudes, and behaviors, etc.

If the Scriptures are mainly what we are consuming, then they should be what are uppermost in our thinking, attitudes, and behaviors, although we can certainly still be influenced by our culture and by the people we are around most often. So, we still have to guard our hearts so that we don’t end up taking on worldly attitudes, but that we maintain godliness.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that the Christian life that is often taught in our culture here in America does not line up with the Christian life taught in the Scriptures. Jesus isn’t supposed to be just part of our lives or someone we pray to a few minutes a day. And our faith is not something we only practice on Sundays. It is 24/7 Christianity.

Our minds, attitudes, thinking, speaking, values, morals, and behaviors are not up for grabs. They are not to be divided between the world and God, especially with the world getting the majority and God getting very little. Jesus is supposed to be King of our lives and our lives are to be surrendered fully to Him. He is the one we follow, not the ways of this sinful world.

The Christian life the Scriptures teach is a life surrendered to Jesus Christ with him as Master and with us now as slaves (bondservants) of him and of his righteousness. Our lives are now to be separate (unlike, different) from the world for we are to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. Jesus is to be our life, not just part of our life. And sin is to no longer be our master.

Then, when Jesus Christ returns one day for his bride, we will go to be with him forever. But if we are living worldly lives, doing what we want to do, deliberately and habitually sinning against the Lord, and Jesus is not really master of our lives, the Scriptures warn us that heaven is not our eternal destiny. So, we need to take this seriously.

Colossians 3:5-10 ESV

“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.”

Put it All to Death

So, the call here is for us to put to death all that is earthly in us, which includes what we view (watch), what we listen to, what we think about, what we are passionate about, and it includes our attitudes, our morals, our values, our speaking, and our behaviors. So, it is good for us to examine our lives against the teachings of Scripture so we know what needs to go.

I have done this multiple times in my life when I began to feel as though my life was drifting more towards the secular and away from the sacred, where I had to reevaluate the things I was taking into my mind in light of the teachings of Scripture. And there were times when I had to do some serious cuts because I had let the world back into my life a little at a time.

Now I think it is just part of my regular life to be on guard against such things and to regularly check in with my Lord to ask him if there is anything in my life displeasing to him or anything I need to cut out. And even as I am writing these words I am asking him if there is anything in my life that needs to go. For I want my life to be fully surrendered to him always.

It is the big stuff that has to go for sure. There is no debate about it. The things listed in this passage of Scripture are not to have any part of our lives – no lying, stealing, cheating, sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, evil desire, and obscene talk, etc. Cut all these out immediately!

But then there are things that may be fairly innocuous but that add no real value to our lives and which may be distracting us and consuming our time and energies and thinking to where we are not listening to the Lord, and to where we do not have our minds set on things above, but still on things on the earth. These things have to go, too.

For, if we are to put on the new self in Christ Jesus, and if Jesus is truly to be our master and we are his servants, then every aspect of our lives is to be given over to the Lord so that he can have control over our lives and so he can lead us in the way that he would have us to go and to do what he has called us to do.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

Caution: This link may contain ads
P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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