Set your mindset


Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who... will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

- from Philippians 3:19-21

Paul established a contrast between those who set their mind on earthly things and those whose citizenship is in heaven. He assumed that a faith commitment would have a practical outworking. Different points of focus produce different life outcomes.

In the passage we looked at yesterday, Paul shared what happens when our minds are set on earthly things: destruction and shame. But what happens if "our citizenship is in heaven"?

We find ourselves filled with a certain hope for the future. That glorious future floods our today with a completely different color of light. It is a totally different way of being fully present to the present: both empowering and humbling, freeing and constraining, expectant about the future but utterly attentive to what's right in front of us. 

Difficulties are still painful. But, seen from our eternal destiny, they are not ultimately determinative.  Small annoyances are seen for what they are and grow smaller and smaller. Small joys are suddenly everywhere ... and now grow ever-larger in our minds.

We wait for deeper and richer experiences with Jesus. And we look forward to the day when he will complete his transfoming work in our lives. There's plenty there to fill our minds.

Where is your mind set today?

Try this experiment.

Take 2 minutes, close your eyes and sit quietly. When you do this, thoughts and ideas and worries and concerns will begin to fill your mind. Let them come.

When the 2 minutes are up, hold your hands in front of you like a cup. Imagine yourself pouring your thoughts and ideas and worries and concerns into your cupped hands.

Offer your hands up to Jesus and ask him to be Lord over your thoughts, to transform them and direct them in ways that will help you become who he wants you to become.

Let us know how it goes!

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1 Comment

I'm drawn to these two thoughts from past devotionals.
Phil. 3:8
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ

CS Lewis:
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Paul was talking about his earthly accomplishments in Phil.3:8 but his thought also applies to my "appetites ... for food and sex and power and things like these". I find myself holding on to my deepest "appetites" as much out of fear as desire for them. Doubts seep into my thoughts - maybe I'm wrong about all this, maybe the Atheists are correct. I find thoughts and feelings of, "I've given a lot up but just in case I'm wrong I'll keep this just for myself". I fear risking everything. Paul said, "For his sake I have discarded everything else". Lord help me to risk everything to gain you.

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