LIVING BEYOND NORMAL
Gracious God, sometimes I am weary of fighting my way through another day. Give me strength to live faithfully today.
Read COLOSSIANS 3:1-4
Living as Those Made Alive in Christ
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
- Colossians 3:4 Some manuscripts our
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Lord, help me to keep setting my thoughts on living beyond normal with Jesus today.
These extraordinary verses assume that believers who are now identified with Christ are living in two realms simultaneously. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have died to an old way of existence though we still have to live in it. It is as though we have two passports. One is tangible with personal details and an expiration date – a key identification document for normal living. The other passport involves a completely different way of living with Jesus in his kingdom. As The Message puts it: ‘Your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God’ (v 3). As citizens of Jesus’ kingdom we can live beyond normal with no expiration date (v 4).
The implications of this second identity are far-reaching (as the rest of the chapter shows). First God challenges our daily thought processes, because living normally all too easily pulls us downward into daily routines of behavior and relationships. To counter this default behavior we must deliberately focus thought upward. The verb’s tense keep on setting (vs 1,2) indicates that it is not a once- for-all command but is continuous – a daily focusing of our total thinking. Continually to set your heart on things above (v 1) is not some vaguely mystical exercise but a focus on Christ seated at the right hand of God, on his majesty and power – for he is always interceding for us, enabling us to live each day beyond normal. His love and direction never flag when we seek him. Setting your mind on things above, not on earthly things (v 2) reminds us not to drift downward into the normal stuff of life without God’s bigger perspective.
The prayer at the top of this page is displayed in my bathroom, where it jolts me every morning. Could you consider such a daily reminder to check your thoughts?
Dear Lord, in this Christmas season, my soul takes rest in you. It is enough that you are for me, with me, and within me.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.