“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)
There are many ways to describe the followers of Jesus. Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), strangers and pilgrims (Hebrews 11:13), priests (Revelation 1:6), bride of Christ (Revelation 21:2), wife of the Lamb(Revelation 21:9), slaves of Christ (Ephesians 6:6), and on the list goes.
What is abundantly clear is that “this world is not our home” as the song says. We are to reckon ourselves as pilgrims. Pilgrims do not settle down and make this world their permanent residence. They are people on the move. They take enough of the land to feed and clothe themselves (1 Timothy 6:8) but their eyes are on another country, another city, a city whose Maker and Builder is God (Hebrews 11:10).
Some Christians have taken this truth to such an extreme that they will not vote in elections nor run for a government position. That may be taking things too far, but we do see they have a point even though it may be misapplied.
Our business in this life is to give a message to the people of this world from our King. We represent a foreign power and seek to have a hearing among the citizens of this world. We call our mission “evangelism” as we teach the teachable that our King has a love for these citizens of earth and desires to be heard.
The One we preach, Jesus Christ, is God in human form and He has invaded this world to find a people for Himself. He came and died for sinners, rose again, and is now seated in the highest position in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
We urge people to submit to the authority of our King, we call on people to turn from a self centred lifestyle to a life of service to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We urge people to believe that Jesus both died and rose from the dead to purchase a people for Himself. We preach that all who call on Him to be their Saviour and Lord shall find forgiveness for sin and will be given eternal life.
Earthly things lose their fascination for Christ followers. They discover that eternal things have great value and interest instead. Believers are not distressed if they live a common lifestyle because they have all the riches of heaven to enjoy forever. The things they once treasured in this life such as wealth, power, and so on mean little now that they have found Jesus, the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46).
Have you had this great change in the things you value. Is your heart set on what is eternal and not earthly things? As the late Jim Elliot once said,
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Where is your heart?