Set Your mind
Let me encourage you. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation chapter 21, Jesus reveals a new heaven and a new earth that he promises is coming for those who are in Christ Jesus. A literal heaven and earth awaits Believers in Christ one day. To think of all the things we will see and experience. To think of all the things we will be able to do. And to see all the faces of friends and loved ones. But it’s this passage that speaks to me today and I think it will speak to you as well. Listen carefully, as the Apostle John describes a statement he hears from the throne of heaven.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. (Christians Standard Bible)
The promise that he will wipe away every tear from the eyes of his people. The promise that death and grief, crying, and pain will be no more. That is the promise I love the most. And this is why. All of us, and I mean every person, deals with real hurt and real pain on a regular basis. Physical, mental and spiritual pain is real. Oh, we like to mask it. In our everyday greetings when someone asks, “how are you?” We say, “great”! But are we? As a pastor, I see what it really looks like behind the “great” we all claim. Pastors often have a front row seat of people's pain.
The promise I love from verse 4 is awesome. He will get rid of all the hurt in our lives. But don't miss this. It doesn’t work unless verse 3 is also true of our lives. If we are not God’s people, if we are not in Christ Jesus, there will never be a day when he wipes our tears away. Sometimes, Christians, and I’m guilty of this too, want what God offers more than they want a relationship with God himself. They want his benefits, but they don’t want him. The promise of verse 4 only works if we give ourselves to Jesus Christ, fully. One day we will have no more tears.
It means, to create an operating system in your heart and mind that says, “the plans I make today are not made with today in mind as the main focus, but with Heaven in mind.”
The Apostle Paul shared a way to live life in the pain now. He tells Christians to ...
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Christians Standard Bible)
Paul is explaining how to live in the pain of life right now. “To set your mind” means to make a predetermined plan. To make a decision to live our life based on that predetermined plan and it starts with our mind resting, not on our situation we find ourselves in today, but rather, the fact of the reality of Heaven and that one day we will be there with Christ Jesus. It means, to create an operating system in your heart and mind that says, “the plans I make today are not made with today in mind as the main focus, but with Heaven in mind.”
This is not an easy task, because we come preprogrammed to think about ourselves first. We think it’s about the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. We come with the built-in thought process right from birth, “it’s all about me and it’s all about life right now.” But if we “set our mind on things above”, we are looking past the pain and the hurt now. That means that we live our lives today in a way that is seeking Christ. Literally by living out the Gospel message and the teachings of Jesus to those around us. To serve and love them, yes. To love them by clearly and plainly sharing the truth we have found in Christ Jesus and His words of the Bible. We do it by doing life with those around us and by demonstrating who Jesus is in the way we act. We can tell those around us the story of what he has done for us in his death and resurrection. That’s the Gospel, lived out. And that is setting our minds on things above.
The truth is, this life is painful, even for those in Christ Jesus. But we also know this is only temporary. The next to the last verse in the Bible, Jesus makes us this promise for those that saved, He says…
… “I am coming back soon.” (Christians Standard Bible)
That encourages me. I hope it encourages you too! Come Lord Jesus, come soon.