Summary: If you truly want a new life, seek things above, slay things below, and shed things that divide.
When I was growing up, I used to love watching the old Candid Camera shows, in which the producers set up a hidden camera and caught people doing the goofiest things. In one episode, an actor on a busy sidewalk began looking at the ground. He walked around a bit with his eyes glued to the sidewalk. A few people passing by gave him some strange looks. Then, after a couple minutes, he decided to get down on all fours and begin feeling around with his hands. That’s when some people slowed down and noticed what the man is doing. Finally, one person stopped and started looking at the ground. Then another one began searching the sidewalk.
In a few minutes, the camera showed about a dozen people looking down, some even on their hands and knees! At that point, the actor, who got all this started in the first place, quietly got up and walked away. No one else noticed that he has left. They were so intent in their search that they never even bothered to ask what it was they were looking for. (Brian Bill, Breaking Free from the Past, www.SermonCentral.com)
That describes a lot of people in our world. They’re looking for something, but they’re not quite sure what. They just know there’s got to be more to life than what they’re living, but they don’t know what it is or where to find it. A lot of people are looking for a new life, but they don’t have a blessed clue how or where to find it.
Well, the Bible is very clear. If you want a new life, don’t look down; look up! If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Colossians 3, Colossians 3, where it shows us how to find a new life.
Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (NIV)
We who are believers in Christ have already been raised with Christ to a new way of life. We came alive when He did! So if we want to find that new life, we must look up to Him where He is seated in the place of all authority and power. We must…
SEEK THINGS ABOVE.
Namely, we must seek Christ’s rule in our lives. Set your hearts and minds on Him. Diligently center your life on the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. And just in case we missed it, the Bible says it again.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (NIV)
Literally, think or ponder, concentrate on things above not on things upon the earth. Verse 1 emphasizes a diligent, earnest striving to find Christ’s rule in our lives. Verse 2 emphasizes a concentration or a focus of our attention on Him. In other words, Don’t stare at the ground; stare into heaven. Don’t look down; look up! Be so heavenly minded that you ARE some earthly good. Get your direction from Christ in heaven for the practical, everyday affairs of your life.
Why? Because your identity is wrapped up in Christ, not in the amount of stuff you have, not in how popular you are, nor in any other thing this world has to offer. Look up to Christ, if you want a new life…
Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (NIV)
Our past died when Christ died. In other words, we are no longer under its control. Our past life can inform us, but it doesn’t have to influence us anymore. Our past is dead with Christ. Our present is hidden, or secure, with Christ in God, and our future is glorious with Christ.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (NIV)
Our past died with Christ. Our present hides with Christ, and our future shines with Christ. We are all about Christ – past, present and future. So concentrate on Him. Seek His rule in your life if you want a new life.
I like the way Jessie Rice put it in what she called, “An Open Letter to My Fear of What Others Think.” Here’s what she wrote:
“I am sick of you, and it's time we broke up. I know we've broken up and gotten back together many times, but seriously, Fear-Of-What-Others-Think, this is it. We're breaking up.
“I'm tired of overthinking my status updates on Facebook, trying to sound more clever, funny, and important. I'm sick of feeling anxious about what I say or do in public, especially around people I don't know that well, all in the hope that they'll like me, accept me, praise me. I run around all day feeling like a Golden Retriever with a full bladder: Like me! Like me! Like me!