November 17, 2022

Hello Advent Family,

Have you ever begun thinking about something and not been able to get it out of your mind? I know this has happened to me a time or two. You begin thinking and focusing and dreaming about something and it begins to become a part of you. What if we focused our thoughts this way around God? Let’s look at what Paul says about this in Colossians 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 life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

When your heart and mind are focused on something it naturally changes the way you act. The athlete who wants to excel begins working harder at their sport. The person focused on losing weight exercises and eats better.  Someone who wants to change a bad habit works and strives and hopefully breaks themselves of it. When we are focused on God and our faith and our hearts and minds are set this way we naturally will change some of our actions. We are no longer focused on pleasing ourselves and our own desires but instead long to please God. This is why Paul reminds us to set our minds on things above. When we surround ourselves with others who also point us toward God, we listen to praise music or Christian podcasts to encourage us, engage in church and small groups to help build us up all of the sudden our mind is more fixed and focused. Through God’s strength may we all set our hearts upon Him, His heart is certainly fixed upon us.

In His Grip,

Pastor Dave