Sunday, April 11, 2021

Resurrection Words Day 10: Mindset


Day 10: Mindset

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4

Today's passage is one I have been working on memorizing because it describes the mindset needed for living the resurrection life. A mindset, by dictionary definition, is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretation of situations. It is a way of thinking that determines how we look at and respond to things and situations.

Resurrection living requires a specific type of mindset. It requires that we look at our life here on earth through the lens of heaven. Paul says in Philippians 3:20 that as Christ-followers and children of God our actual citizenship is not here on earth, or in a particular country or state, "but our citizenship is in heaven". In 2 Corinthians 5:20, he calls Christ-followers "Christ's ambassadors", again pointing out that wherever we reside it is not our true place of citizenship. Ambassadors live in one country while representing the views, beliefs and values of their home country. 

Therefore, we must learn to have a heavenly mindset, a mindset that represents our true place of citizenship. Our Colossians 3 passage above, describes this heavenly mindset and shows us how we acquire it. 

1. For starters, a mindset involves the mind and the heart. How we think and where we set our passions and values determines our mindset. Paul says we are to set our hearts and our minds on things above and not on earthly things (vs 1 & 2). And what is the reason for doing so? Paul says it is because of our position as those who have been raised with Christ. By saying this, he reminds us that as those who are living a resurrected life, we have died to our old self and its way of living and  we now live a new life with a new way of living. We cannot live a new life with a mindset from the old life. We need to continually remember who we are in Christ. We do this by reading and studying and memorizing Scripture. The thing about a mindset is this: you don't get into situations and then figure out what mindset to have. A mindset is a learned way of thinking and seeing in order that when you get into the situations that life throws your way, you are prepared to face them with the mindset of Christ that has been shaped in you by His Word.

2. Therefore, gaining a heavenly mindset requires discipline and training. Paul uses the word "set" in verses 1 and 2. When we set our hearts and minds on something we focus on it with intention and intensity. 
"Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest." Hebrews 3:1

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

We must set our minds and our hearts on Jesus, learning His ways, in order to live the resurrection life with a heavenly mindset. We are able to do this as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. 
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

3. Learning the ways of Jesus and following His example means our former way of life must be transformed into our new resurrection way of life. Again, our reason for doing this is pointed out by Paul by remembering who we are in Christ:
"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1

A few more passages remind us of our crucified position in Christ:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin." Romans 6:5-7

4. Our new life is now hidden with - secure in, wrapped up in - Christ. We, therefore keep focused on our crucified  position in Christ, continually dying to our self-centered ways and embracing Christ-centered ways. And we do this by maintaining a heavenly perspective, knowing that this life is preparation for an eternal life with Christ.

"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure." 1 John 3:2-3

"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

So the mindset needed to live the resurrection life is to live today focused on the life that is to come. We live  pure, holy lives, imitating the life of Christ - loving and serving others, sacrificing our own needs, generously giving to those in need with our time and resources, being obedient to the ways and will of God, living out the Christ-like virtues of love, kindness, goodness, compassion, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, encouragement, etc. 

Paul reminds Timothy that those who live this way "will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." 1 Timothy 6:19

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

Share your response to today's word and Scripture readings in the Words Art & Faith Challenge Group on Facebook. Or share on social media with #resurrectionwords. 

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