Heavenly minded, earthly use

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‘Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you today. You are the lifter of my head and heart, and I worship you.’

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Bible passage Colossians 3:1–11

Colossians 3

Rules for Holy Living
 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Explore the Bible

Where's your heart set?
‘We believe in life before death.’ This is a slogan used by a well-known Christian organisation, emphasising that the Christian message has an immediate application as well as a future hope. And who could argue with this? That some Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly use is an observation often made, arguing for practical, no-nonsense Christianity.

Paul, however, urges his readers to set their hearts and minds on things that are above. Not because the things that are below are bad or inferior, but limited.

New lives
The beguiling ideas now infecting the Colossian church are earthbound as far as Paul is concerned. Their proponents are laying down restrictive rules and religious expectations mixed in with human philosophy.

Using the language of baptism and discipleship, Paul says that they have died with Christ and they are now joined to him in his resurrected life. Stripped of their old earthbound identity they are now free to live radically different lives. In fact, their lives are in a state of constant renewal because of Jesus’ presence in them. They can make a serious difference in the world.


Are there parts of your life in need of renewal and change; a fresh sense of Jesus’ presence? Draw near to him today, and ask him to refresh you.

Gethin Russell-Jones

Deeper Bible study

As we come into God’s presence, let’s fix our eyes, our minds, our hearts on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

The most basic definition of a Christian is this: a Christian is someone who is united to Christ. A church is a community with Christ at the centre. The key to living as we should is to fix our eyes on Christ (vs 1,2). Today’s passage speaks about our heart (v 1) – our will and our emotions – and our mind (v 2), which refers to our intellect. Every dimension of our being is to be focused on Christ.

We focus not only on what Christ has done but also on what he will do (v 4). One day we will appear with Christ in glory, so we must set our hearts and minds, our affections and our hopes, on the finishing line, when we will be with Christ and give an account for how we have lived. That future orientation provides the motivation to live for him now. Belonging to Christ, we must lay aside our old way of life and put on the new life. There are things in our lives to be rejected decisively (v 5) and Paul uses some graphic images. We must kill them (v 5). We must discard the rubbish (v 8) and throw off worn and dirty clothes (see vs 9,10). Each of the phrases calls us to act decisively, to make a clean break with anything that doesn’t belong to our new nature as those who belong to Christ.

The point is made even more clearly in verse 10: ‘[You] have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.’ That is God’s restoration plan, his purpose for our lives. We should be like Christ himself. With our eyes fixed on him and our hopes fixed on that future day, it truly will happen.

Jonathan Lamb

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Ezekiel 22,23

Psalms 120–122

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  • Rachael Hampton | Friday, 10 November 2017

    Now and not yet. We are everything that beautiful poem says we are. Now. But there is the daily business of fixing our minds on things of the Kingdom, the things that matter to God v2 And we must continually 'kill, (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desires lurking in our members' - and which of us have not been aware of sins like greed, envy, or 'white' lies tugging at our hearts and minds? How wonderful that as we daily get dressed in our new spiritual self our beautiful Saviour is doing His amazing work of renewing and remoulding us into His own image. Praise God! Great to hear all went well Carol, thanks God. Prayers and blessings to all.

  • Sue Hanson | Friday, 10 November 2017

    Each day we are made new with God as we confess our sins and and ask Him to renew us. How good is our God when we continue to fall into the same ways again and again and He still loves us. Sometimes I despair then I am made aware of God's goodness and His love . Thank you Jesus.

  • Hugh Skeil | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    Thelma - truly beautiful.

  • Paul Brewu | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    "11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all" - sounds like heaven to me. What a day of rejoicing that will be. Hallelujah!!!

  • Angela Munday | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    Life in your new, true self puts an end to everything belonging to the old; you cannot put new wine into old skins as Jesus told us this is just not possible. New life is lived where truth now dwells......Christ lives in us. I agree PAUL, heavenly. The Kingdom of God, His heavenly kingdom, is here on earth; it is in caring that we serve each other in Jesus' name. As you say, HUGH, truly beautiful. Praying for all carers everywhere Amen.

  • Ruth Chisholm | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    THELMA thank you for sharing your blessings with us, beautiful picture, may you have many more special moments this next week. Let go and let God and he never ceases to surprise to us.

  • Janet Webb | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    THELMA that was such a beautiful story. How lovely that you have wisdom, patience and love; a powerful combination. Anything is possible with God.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    v 2 It takes time to set our affections on things above, just like it takes time for concrete to set. But once concrete sets, it is not easily altered. Likewise, our hearts cannot be easily altered from a set state. Therefore, it is imperative that we set our affections on things above. We have to give thought to things of this life, but they do not have to hold our interest. Our hearts’ desires should be “on things above, not on things on the earth.” This is the same message that Jesus taught in Matthew 6:19-33. Thank you Lord that I am a working progress.

  • Ruth Lewis | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    I am so Blessed by all of the comments from my WL Family!!! I say a loud AMEN to all of them!!!

  • Ruth Lewis | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    I just read your comment from Nov 10th (yesterday) THELMA, and it brought tears to my heart and eyes. It was so beautiful!!!!!! I am continuing to pray for you and Don. I am also praying for the telephone to quickly get installed. In God's good timing it will!!!

  • Barbara Sabin | Saturday, 11 November 2017

    THELMA the Christian Song 'Brother let me be your servant ' came to mind when I was reading your account of your time with your brother. May God bless you both. https://youtu.be/MYpH3y4608E

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