What are Your Minds Set On?

Philippians 3:17-21 ESV

“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Minds Set on Earthly Things

Not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ is of the true faith. Not everyone who calls Jesus “Lord” is committed to him as Lord of his life, to having Jesus truly be in command and control of his life, leading and guiding him in the way that he should go. Many are giving only lip service to Jesus Christ. He is not their Lord, in truth, but in name only. For they have not surrendered their lives to Christ. They have not committed their ways to him. And they have not forsaken their sins to walk in obedience to Christ.

And this includes people who are in positions of spiritual leadership in families and within the gatherings of the church. So, we need to be careful about who we are listening to, and whose lives we are emulating, and who we are following. Just because someone has a charismatic personality or is friendly and seems “nice,” it is not reason enough to think that person is a good Christian and a sincere believer in Jesus Christ. There are many apparently “nice” people in this world who are living wicked and evil lives.

Many people walk as enemies of the cross of Christ while with their lips they profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But their “faith” is not in practice, but in form only. They are good at performing for an audience so that they appear as though they are true believers in Christ, but it is an act. It is only an act. For their practices reveal that they are truly enemies of the cross of Christ, for they have not been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and they are not living to God and to his righteousness, but for self-pleasure.

Their minds are set on the things of this world and not on Christ and his righteousness and holiness. They are all caught up in the trappings of this world and in the culture and in being entertained by the world, and they are not focused on serving the Lord with their lives. He is more of an afterthought if he enters their minds much at all. And that is a very sad reality, especially since many of them are serving in positions of spiritual leadership over others who have put their faith and trust in their leadership.

Minds Set on Things Above

If our citizenship is truly in heaven, that means we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24). We have died with Christ to our old lives of living in sin and for the flesh, and now we are walking in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, according to the Spirit of God, and in his power, strength, and wisdom (Romans 8:1-14).

Our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, for we were bought with a price, the blood of Christ shed on that cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). And our lives are no longer to be lived for self but for Jesus Christ who gave his life up for us (2 Corinthians 5:15,21). For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). So we are not to let sin reign any longer in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions (Romans 6:12-13).

For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for Jesus’ sake we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we will live (Luke 9:23-26). And he also said that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one Doing God’s will (Matthew 7:21-23).

So, if we want to have the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God, and if we want to wait expectantly for our Savior to return to transform our lowly bodies and to take us to be with him for eternity, then we must die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in daily practice. For if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not our practice, but sin and disobedience are our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what faith we have professed in him with our lips.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

The First Noel

Author: Anonymous

The first Noel the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.

Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
that hath made heaven and earth of naught,
and with his blood our life hath bought.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israel.

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