When God saves you, He changes you. He changes you from the inside out. You become a brand new person. No longer are you the focus of your life – God now is the focus. You realize that His way is the best way. He empowers you to live life His way – the best way – and to have the guarantee of eternal life with Him. It’s a pretty amazing reality.
How should that affect your life?
Because you’re a new person, set your mind on eternal things. It is so normal to focus on temporary, earthly things. It takes spiritual focus to set your mind on eternal things. Jesus was physically raised from the dead. You have been spiritually raised from the dead.
Since you are spiritually alive, focus your mind on eternal things. For example, instead of just thinking about what groceries to buy at the supermarket, why not focus on having a conversation with the check-out clerk to find out how to pray for her? Another example: instead of complaining about your noisy neighbors, how about get to know them and invite them to church with you?
Set your mind on eternal things.
Colossians 3:1-4 (HCSB)
1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Because you’re a new person, put to death what is worldly in you. When Jesus saved you, He forgave you of all your sin. But our present reality is that sin is constantly battling against us, trying to keep us from living an abundant, holy, Christ-honoring life. You used to walk in sinful ways before God changed your life through Christ. Now, you don’t have to walk in those ways. You are a new person. Don’t believe the lie that says that you can’t overcome sinful behavior. The Bible says that God will give you the desire and the power to overcome all temptations that come your way.
It takes conscious effort to put these worldly ways to death. Read the following verses. If some of these sinful behaviors are a struggle for you, take time to pray to the Lord, ask Him to help you put the worldly ways to death in your life, and take steps to keep them out of your life. Memorize Scripture to help you battle these worldly behaviors.
Colossians 3:5-9 (HCSB)
5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. 8 But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices…
Because you’re a new person, let God renew you daily, becoming more and more like Christ. Each day, and several times throughout the day, pause from your routine and focus your heart and mind on Christ and His Word. Your ultimate goal is for Him to transform your thinking so that over time your thoughts are ALWAYS the thoughts wants you to have. Let Him renew your mind.
He want to renew you into the image of your Creator. The goal is holiness and Christlikeness in every way. One of the things that the Colossians struggled with was racial prejudice. They needed to realize that they were all equal in the sight of God, no matter their ethnicity, social background, or any other factor. Because Christ is all goodness and perfection, and He is in all believers, He unites us through Christ. This is part of being a new person in Christ.
Colossians 3:9-11 (HCSB)
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
Put these truths into action. In light of the teaching of Colossians 3:1-11, what changes do you need to make?
- Set your mind on eternal things
- Put to death what is worldly in you
- Let God renew you daily, becoming more and more like Christ
Once I was talking with a friend who had recently become a Christian. He was wondering about whether or not particular words were acceptable for him to use now that he was a follower of Christ. The words in question were not words that took the Lord’s name in vain (which he knew were wrong to say), but words of a crude nature, the kind you might be tempted to say when you hit your thumb with a hammer. When I showed him from God’s Word that those words were sinful (see Colossians 3:8 above), he immediately said, “OK, I won’t say those words any more.” Praise God for a man living a life of faith and obedience, in line with God’s Word.
Will you respond in faith and obedience to what God has called you to do? What changes do you need to make? Make them today.