“If you, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right Hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth—for you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Our “prize” will determine our passion, pursuit and priorities.
When Jesus said “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt. 6:21), He was stating what Paul was saying in today’s Manna. Likewise, when Jesus said “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness” (Mt. 6:33a), He was basically saying “Seek those things which are above and set your affection on them.”
Now, we should remember “seeking” and “setting” are not one-time acts; they are lifelong pursuits. They basically means “Seek and keep on seeking. Set and keep on setting.” And, since we know what we’re supposed to be seeking and setting on, our quest is quite intentional, not accidental or coincidental.
Truly, ours is a “Magnificent Obsession” that causes us to passionately pursue that which has already gotten ahold of us.
And, what might that might be?
Quite simply, Jesus Himself (Phil. 3:3-14). Glory!!
Someone once said the Pilgrimage of Faith is a balancing act between being “so Heavenly-minded we’re no earthly good” and “so earthly-minded we’re no Heavenly good.” Most assuredly it is. However, in reality, when we’re “seeking and setting our affections on those things which are above,” we’ll still be “earthly good”—for we’ll be the type of “salt and light” in this world Jesus commanded us to be (Mt. 5:13-16).
In reality, the whole key rests with the word “affection,” which comes from the Greek word “phroneo” and also means “to exercise the mind, have a sentiment toward or opinion of, be mentally/emotionally disposed toward, etc.” Thus, it’s that which moves us. . .obsesses us. . . concerns us. . .transforms us, etc. Or, a simpler way to say it is “It’s our primary focus.”
And, dear Pilgrim, if our focus is “earthly,” our views and values will be earthly.
But, if they’re Heavenly (“on things above”), then our views and values will be Christ’s—for we’ll “have His Mind in us” (Phil. 2:5) and long to be “transformed” in all we say and do (Rom. 12:1-2).
How wonderful to know in God’s estimation we’re already “risen with Christ” (cf. Eph. 2:4-6) and no longer “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1); instead, we are to daily, increasingly become “dead to the world and its allurements.” And, in the process we’ll realize what it means for our lives to be “hidden with Christ and God” and how Christ IS our life. Hallelujah!
No wonder the Apostle Paul wrote “It’s in Him (Jesus) we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He is our all-in-all. Or, as the contemporary song says “He is the air I breathe.” Amen and amen. So, go forth today “seeking and setting” on that which is eternal.
May 15, 2011