Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Set your affection

 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. - Colossians 3:2

I find myself often being carried away by the things of this world, i.e., finances, my job, children, etc. This happens because I am not fixing my mind on the eternal, rather, I am engrossed with the temporal more than I need to be. I say this to my shame: Paul's text in Colossians 3:2 is a command for all believers. Let's take a closer look....

This is excellent commentary from Matthew Henry, "The apostle, having described our privileges by Christ in the former part of the epistle, and our discharge from the yoke of the ceremonial law, comes here to press upon us our duty as inferred thence. Though we are made free from the obligation of the ceremonial law, it does not therefore follow that we may live as we list. We must walk the more closely with God in all the instances of evangelical obedience. He begins with exhorting them to set their hearts on heaven, and take them off from this world: If you then have risen with Christ. It is our privilege that we have risen with Christ; that is, have benefit by the resurrection of Christ, and by virtue of our union and communion with him are justified and sanctified, and shall be glorified. Hence he infers that we must seek those things which are above. We must mind the concerns of another world more than the concerns of this. We must make heaven our scope and aim, seek the favour of God above, keep up our communion with the upper world by faith, and hope, and holy love, and make it our constant care and business to secure our title to and qualifications for the heavenly bliss. And the reason is because Christ sits at the right hand of God. He who is our best friend and our head is advanced to the highest dignity and honour in heaven, and has gone before to secure to us the heavenly happiness; and therefore we should seek and secure what he has purchased at so vast an expense, and is taking so much care about. We must live such a life as Christ lived here on earth and lives now in heaven, according to our capacities.
I. He explains this duty (Col_3:2): Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Observe, To seek heavenly things is to set our affections upon them, to love them and let our desires be towards them. Upon the wings of affection the heart soars upwards, and is carried forth towards spiritual and divine objects. We must acquaint ourselves with them, esteem them above all other things, and lay out ourselves in preparation for the enjoyment of them. David gave this proof of his loving the house of God, that he diligently sought after it, and prepared for it, Psa_27:4. This is to be spiritually minded (Rom_8:6), and to seek and desire a better country, that is, a heavenly, Heb_11:14, Heb_11:16. Things on earth are here set in opposition to things above. We must not dote upon them, nor expect too much from them, that we may set our affections on heaven; for heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, and a supreme regard to both is inconsistent; and the prevalence of our affection to one will proportionably weaken and abate our affection to the other."

Albert Barnes commentary is quite good as well, short, sweet and to the point, "Set your affection - Margin, “or mind.” Greek” think of” - φρονεῖτε  phroneite. The thoughts should be occupied about the things where Christ now dwells, where our final home is to be, where our great interests are. Since we are raised from the death of sin, and are made to live anew, the great object of our contemplation should be the heavenly world.
Not on things on the earth - Wealth, honor, pleasure. Our affections should not be fixed on houses and lands; on scenes of fashion and gaiety; on low and debasing enjoyments."

Isn't that what the whole world chases after? Material things, wealth and happiness through wealth, drugs, and immoral behavior? Yet, there is no satisfaction in any of these temporal vices. 

Verse 4 says 'when Christ, who is our life'. As I read Matthew Henry's commentary on this verse, I was very blessed. Here is what he says, "Observe, (1.) Christ is a believer's life. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, Gal_2:20. He is the principle and end of the Christian's life. He lives in us by his Spirit, and we live to him in all we do. To me to live is Christ, Phi_1:21. (2.) Christ will appear again. He is now hid; and the heavens must contain him; but he will appear in all the pomp of the upper world, with his holy angels, and in his own glory and his Father's glory, Mar_8:38; Luk_9:26. (3.) We shall then appear with him in glory. It will be his glory to have his redeemed with him; he will come to be glorified in his saints (2Th_1:10); and it will be their glory to come with him, and be with him for ever."

Those who are risen with Christ are to seek the things above, where Christ is. It is our union with Him that causes us to seek the things above, prayer is essential in this seeking. May God cause us to earnestly seek the eternal more than the temporal, to have this world grow more dim by the day as we draw closer to our departure and His coming. Our pilgrimage on this earth will soon be over!  

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