Posted February 14, 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.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Christians throughout the ages have all stood united around this belief: that Jesus of Nazareth did not stay dead in the tomb but was powerfully raised to life three days later. His resurrection wasn’t some obscure event, but rather was witnessed by various women including Mary Magdalene, Peter and the other disciples, two travelers on the road to Emmaus, and even to five hundred other witnesses. So far so good, but have you ever considered the everyday implications of Christ’s resurrection on your life? Does His resurrection play any part in how you view your daily reality? Sadly for many Christians, while they believe the resurrection is true, this truth can seem distant and bears very little weight in tangible ways.
Not for the apostle Paul! Paul’s entire life was turned upside down by Jesus after a powerful encounter with Him on the road to Damascus. Throughout the rest of Paul’s life and ministry, he refused to accept merely a cognitive belief in the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus meant a complete re-orientation of all he was thinking about and living for. Why? Paul understood that a Christian is one who has been united in faith to Christ, and this Christ we are united to is very much a risen Savior. Because of this union with Christ, His resurrection means our resurrection. We are “co-raised” with Christ and we now live out of this resurrection!
In Colossians 3, Paul reveals that this powerful present truth of union with a resurrected Savior (“we have been raised with Christ”) should lead to a resurrected lifestyle and “raised” patterns of thought. Namely, it teaches us that we should be seeking and setting our minds on things above, not things on earth. Sam Storms elaborates on this phrase: “We have no independent life of our own. We can claim no right in our bodies or minds or souls or possessions. The only life that we now have is actually the life of Christ in us. Therefore our interests must be identical with his. Our goals and aims and vision must be co-extensive with his. All that is precious and dear to him should be to us as well. All that is alien and offensive to him should affect us in the same way.”
To be those who are raised with Christ means to refuse the lesser ambitions and allures of the world, and in turn set our gaze and hearts and minds on the kingdom of God and seeking it before anything else. Make no mistake! This seeking and setting our minds on things above isn’t instantaneous. We’ve been trained for years and years to do just the opposite and set our minds on things on earth. This radical shift doesn’t happen overnight, but rather takes a Spirit-empowered effort and a holy perspiration. Dallas Willard wisely stated, “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.” May we be a people of the resurrection, and may this resurrection be evidenced in daily decisions and demeanor!
Song by Kristi Hepp.
Artwork by Alex Steele.
Produced by Dustin Ragland.
Devotional by Joel Limpic.