Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere"1 (Lyrics)
Colossians 3:1-2 – Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. (NLT)
When I was a child, I always had my nose in a book. My mother never had a hard time finding me! I was running through the forests of Narnia with the Pevensey children and Prince Caspian. I was on board the pirate ship having adventures on Treasure Island. I was solving mysteries with Nancy Drew in her blue convertible. My head was in the clouds, in worlds more thrilling than my own.
Some people think that Christians live with their heads in the clouds, praying to a fanciful deity in a make-believe kingdom in outer space. Perhaps they despise us for being gullible and unrealistic. In this weary old world, reality is often stark and sad, with environmental catastrophe, all the miseries of human migration, trafficking of human beings, oppression and exploitation of the helpless, and profiteering on the health of millions. One might be excused for wanting to dwell in a brighter, more hopeful world of literature!
Christians are encouraged to set our sights on the realities of heaven, but not to plug our noses, stop our ears, and avert our eyes from the realities of earth! Our hope isn't floating in the clouds, but based on Jesus' resurrection. Because we are His, and we are raised with Him, our hope of glory is real. Today's encouragement from the apostle Paul is to meditate and aspire to heavenly things, which will bind us forever to that beautiful, brighter life to come.
Living in the hope of glory doesn't mean disconnecting with the realities of day-to-day life. Now that we are free from the grave, how then do we live? We can choose to serve the people around us, for they are people for whom Jesus gave His life. Let's be a testimony for the coming glory of heaven, of which we are citizens! We can do this, as Jesus did, with the infilling power and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, as we live in Your grace and forgiveness day by day, may we see You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly. May the hope of glory and of being with You forever fill our hearts with love and concern for people everywhere. Amen!