January 1 I Sunday
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” —Colossians 3:2
If our Christian diet consists of listening to a sermon once a week and the occasional prayer, we will be utterly bored and frustrated with the Christian life. Christ will not be the One we are looking to for direction, because we simply will not know enough. Our minds will be mostly set on pragmatic issues of maintaining a household, earning a living, paying the bills, and that too, can be frustrating.
Paul tells us, “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). With so much made fast and easy today, the temptation is to opt for the quick fix and simply coast along on the good we feel from attending church, but we cannot bypass the renewing of our minds. Our minds are the initial avenue through which the gospel message is processed. We understand that, “I am a sinner, but I am forgiven, cleansed and saved because Christ died for me. I have risen to new life with Him. I am indwelt by His Spirit and now live in dependence upon Him.” This has to go through our thinking before it settles into our hearts.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” The hope we have is Christ in us, but in addition to knowing this is true, we need to understand why it is true. As we explain it to others, the gospel seed becomes implanted in their minds and reinforced in our own. Talking about the things of God is vitally important, because the more we do so, the more the Holy Spirit reveals.
We can only set our minds on the things above when we know what the things above are. Paul says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…” (Colossians 3:16). The things above are what God has revealed in His Word, and to know His Word is to know the mind and heart of God. If our minds are set on earthly things, we will be limited to our own ingenuity and resources. We will work apart from God, which is a frightening thought for any true believer.
But when we allow Christ to take root in our hearts, we become transformed by the renewing of our minds. By setting our thoughts daily on the things of God, our lives begin to make sense with meaning and purpose.
Prayer: Dear Precious Jesus, thank You for another year. I pray throughout this year that You will help me to digest the truth of Your Word in my mind so that it settles into my heart, giving me a deeper understanding and revelation of You.