Heavenly Minded

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:1-4

Colossians 3:1-2, “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.”

Joni Eareckson Tada was paralyzed in a swimming accident decades ago.  God has since blessed her with a great ministry of encouraging people to “keep seeking the things above.”  She was once quoted as saying, “I just want to be with Jesus, get my new glorified body, and have the pain wiped away.”  She says that it is not just the physical frustrations that make her long for heaven, but her battle with temptation and the pain of life.  Most of all, she just wants to see Jesus.

Once she went to visit Corrie ten Boon after Corrie had had a stroke.  Corrie had lost all ability to communicate.  She had to use gestures and the expressions of her face to convey her thoughts.  The topic of heaven brought the greatest response and joy from Corrie.  Joni described her longings for heaven and concluded by singing a song to her:

Though I spend my mortal lifetime in this chair,
I refuse to waste it living in despair…
He has given me a gift beyond compare.
For heaven is nearer to me,
And at times it is all I can see.

We, like Joni, are to seek for, to set our affection on, the things above.  This is a command.  God commands us to set our hearts on the things above.  We see here there is a choice.  We can either set our hearts and minds on things above, or things which are on the earth.  Those are the two choices before us.  We should also note the unbeliever doesn’t have those two choices.  Lacking the Spirit of God, he lacks the ability to set his mind on things above, as we do.

The same two possibilities—to set our minds on things below or above—are spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  We have five senses which make us aware of things related to the here and now.  The world, the flesh, and the devil are working to entice us and involve us in worldly affairs.  If we are to keep our focus, we need the help of the spirit. We have a travel “brochure,” the Bible, that speaks to us of the glory of heaven.  We have a travel guide, the Spirit, who is always pointing us in Christ’s direction.  It is as the Spirit of God fills our hearts with the Word of God that our attention is directed to the things above.

We are not simply given commands—God doesn’t just say “look there.”  He gives us the reason.  We are to “keep seeking the things above” because that’s “where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).  He who loved me and died for me is seated there.  Our glorious Savior and Lord is seated there.  Our hearts lie there with Him.  We yearn to be united with Him in unfettered intimacy.  And another reason is given— “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).  We are to keep seeking things above because there is something “hidden” in heaven which is waiting there to be revealed.  The fullness of who we are in Christ is presently “hidden” with Christ in God. 

J. C. Ryle, “Keep on looking unto Jesus. Faith shall soon be changed to sight and hope to certainty. Looking to Jesus on earth by faith, you shall end with seeing Jesus eye to eye in heaven. Those eyes of yours shall look on the head that was crowned with thorns, the hands and feet that were pierced with nails, and the side that was pierced with a spear. You shall find that seeing is the blessed consequence of believing, and that looking at Jesus by faith, ends with seeing Jesus in glory, and living with Jesus for evermore. When you awake up after His likeness, you shall be satisfied.”


Jesus may come today,
Glad day! Glad day!
And I would see my Friend;
Dangers and troubles would end
If Jesus should come today.

Glad day! Glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be,
Jesus my Lord I soon shall see;
Glad day! Glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

I may go home today,
Glad day! Glad day!
Seemeth I hear their song;
Hail to the radiant throng!
If I should go home today. (Refrain)

Why should I anxious be?
Glad day! Glad day!
Lights appear on the shore,
Storms will affright nevermore,
For He is “at hand” today. (Refrain)

Faithful I’ll be today,
Glad day! Glad day!
And I will freely tell
Why I should love Him so well,
For He is my all today. (Refrain)

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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