Tuesday Devotion: Set your focus on Christ (Colossians 3:1-11)
It is clear that Paul had a great affection for the Colossian church. He writes to them with warmth and fondness, and he regards them as his friends. In chapter 1, he sends them greetings, thanksgiving and prayers. In chapter 2, he tells them about the spiritual foundation of their faith. In chapter 3, he talks about the practicalities of living a Christian life. Let us read about how this applies to our life. Verses 1-4 remind us that was are raised with Christ to a new life. Therefore, we should focus our hearts and minds on Christ and “on things above”. This means we should have an attitude where we choose to focus our intentions, actions and hopes on God. We can look forward to the return of Christ, because our hope is in Him.
We should put to death and therefore deprive of power, whatever belongs to our earthly or carnal nature. These self-centred motivations (sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed) should not be given the opportunity to take root in our hearts. Indulging in these sins would be a kind of idolatry that replaces our focus and devotion on God. We risk angering God. We are reminded that God’s judgment is coming because of the wrongdoing that is driven by these sins. We should make sure that we do not disregard God’s commands.
Paul acknowledges that we used to live in this way, but now we have a new life in Christ. He will help us to live according to God’s will. We must also rid ourselves of (completely throw away) anger, rage, malice, slander and obscene language. We should not lie to each other, meaning that we should speak the truth and be accountable to others in our fellowship. We should replace our “old self “, (before we received Christ) and “put on our new self” (intentionally live our lives from now on with and in Christ), because Christ gives us the opportunity to “renew” ourselves in God’s image. We are only able to do this by accepting the sacrifice that Christ made for us. We are all equal in Christ as He is in us all, and gives us all the same privilege of a new life in Him. God’s grace has saved us from our sins!
You may be asking, “how do I focus my heart and mind on Christ?”. Philippians 4:4-9 is a good guide. We should involve God in every aspect of our life, in prayer and with rejoicing and thanksgiving. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever I commendable, if there is any excellent or praiseworthy, think abut such things.” Living in Christ requires us to focus our minds actively on God’s truth, God’s goodness, God’s righteousness and love. The Christian life requires us to be intentional about our decisions and actions, to make sure they are consistent with God’s teachings and His will.
Almighty God, I want to have an intentional relationship with you. Help me to focus consistently on your word and your will. Help me to live and act as you have commanded me to do. Thank you that I am able to do this with Christ in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.