SEPTEMBER 21

Keep Looking Up

Bible Reading: Colossians 3:1-4

Colossians 3:3-4, “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.” 

If you fill a hot-air balloon with ambient, temperate air, it will not rise.  Yet if you fill it with helium or hot air, it is made lighter and, as a result, tends upward.  The believer in Christ has been filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit of God lives in you.  His chief purpose is to reveal Christ to you and in you (John 16:14).  His presence in you has made you lighter than air—so to speak.  You tend upward.  You are presently tied to earth and reside in an earthbound tent.  But the moment the ropes are untied—you will ascend.  As a hot-air balloon tends upward, so we are to keep looking up.  We are given several reasons to here in our text:

Because you are commanded to (two present tense imperatives).

Because this world is not your home (You have died; you have been raised up with Him; Ephesians 2:6; Galatians 6:14).  It is as the hymn says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.”

Because that is where Christ is. As long as you are here, you are absent from Him (1 Peter 1:8; John 14:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:6 — “knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord”). 

Because your life is hidden in Christ.  What is life?  Life is more than eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage (Matthew 24:38).  Life is bound up in Christ (John 1:4; 5:26; 17:3; 1 John 1:1-3; Galatians 2:20).  What does it mean that your life is “hidden in Christ?”  A rose bush lies dormant through the winter months, yet signs of life appear in early spring.  Though invisible in winter’s snow, the makings of rose buds lie there in that bush.  They are hidden in the vines.  The leaves continue to grow.  The rose buds will begin to show.  The roses will bloom.  Christ lives in you.  You sense His presence.  Yet there are aspects of that which are presently hidden from view.

Because Christ is going to be revealed from heaven.  “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed.”  Where will He be revealed from?  Heaven.  How will this take place—one of two ways.  Either through your death (2 Corinthians 5:1, 6; Philippians 1:23 — “having the desire to depart and be with Christ”).  Or, if you happen to be alive at the time, through the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16).  As believers, our attention, our focus, our yearning is for His return: Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20

Because you will be revealed with Him in glory.  God is doing an amazing work in you.  To take you—dead in your trespasses and sins as you were, and to transform you—into the very image of Christ, is an amazing thing!  We often speak of heaven as the place where there are no longer any tears (Revelation 21:4).  And so, it is.  From the positive side—it is a place where your true identity in Christ will be fully revealed.  The work is now ongoing (2 Corinthians 3:18).  But it will be done (Philippians 3:21).  We cannot fully comprehend all that is entailed (1 Corinthians 2:9).  It is a work which is beyond all we asked for or thought possible (Ephesians 3:19-21).  All this will be revealed to us when we see Jesus!  We will marvel at Him!  And until that day, we keep looking up! 

Certain things naturally draw our attention.  We don’t have to be told to look at a glorious sunrise or sunset.  Or, to marvel at the view if we stand atop a mountain, or on the edge of a deep canyon.  There are beautiful things in this world which capture our attention.  Their beauty works to fix our gaze on them.  There are more glorious things in heaven still!  Christ is beautiful.  Heaven is beautiful.  Keep looking up!

THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME

This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Chorus:
O Lord, you know I have no friend like you,
If heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

They’re all expecting me, and that’s one thing I know,
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go;
I know He’ll take me thro’ tho’ I am weak and poor,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. [Chorus]

I have a loving Savior up in glory-land,
I don’t expect to stop until I with Him stand,
He’s waiting now for me in heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. [Chorus]

Just up in glory-land we’ll live eternally,
The saints on every hand are shouting victory,
Their songs of sweetest praise drift back from heaven’s shore,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. [Chorus]

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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