Friday, February 8, 2019

LHM Daily Devotions - Looking Up

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190208

"Looking Up"

Feb. 8, 2019

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.

Many years ago, the apostle Paul, writing from a Roman prison, and very familiar with the world and its powerful influence, penned the above advice to Christians who were struggling to live godly lives in a world where ungodly influences are the norm.

Here are three insights from Scripture for keeping our minds set on the things above:

The Person of Christ is above.

"He (Jesus) said to them, 'You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world'" (John 8:23).

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

The Person of Jesus Christ and our relationship to Him need to be the central focus. We must not allow any other influence to take that place.

True wisdom is from above.

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).

Minds set on the world's wisdom draw us away from being active, witnessing Christians. As we grow in faith, we need to be searching for and responding to God's wisdom constantly.

Lasting treasures are above.

(Jesus said) "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

"When Jesus heard this, He said to him, 'One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me'" (Luke 18:22).

Earthly treasures can get in the way of our Christian life; they give us a false sense of security. Minds set on heavenly treasures, on the promise of the new heavens and the new earth, have a true security.

At least once a week, and sometimes more often, we pray in the Lord's Prayer that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This petition seeks God's divine work in our lives so that in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be authentic witnesses, affecting the lives of others for Christ, and living in a loving and trusting relationship with our Heavenly Father.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, we are in this world, but let us not be too at home here. Let our lives point to the things above, where You are—seated at the right hand of God the Father. In Your Name. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by a contributing writer from Lutheran Hour Ministries. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Many years ago, the apostle Paul, writing from a Roman prison, and very familiar with the world and its powerful influence, penned the above advice to Christians who were struggling to live godly lives in a world where ungodly influences are the norm.

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