A CLOSER WALK
by PASTOR BILL MEADOWS
WHAT STYLE OF LIFE?
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3: 1-2).
To be "risen with Christ" means to be identified with Him in His death, burial and resurrection. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life"(Romans 6:5). This is a spiritual relationship, which anticipates a physical relationship that believers will later enjoy.
It is by acts of the mind and will that believers put their attention on heavenly things. It is by choice association with the teachings of Christ, Who is sitting even now at the right hand of God in heaven that this is done. Christians need to look beyond the drawback of this age and project themselves into the new age to come, when they will be forever with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord into air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" (Thessalonians 4:17-18). When one is raised with Christ to a new life it is a new life through and through. It is not just a white wash job on the old one. It starts at the roots. It begins with setting our minds and our affection on the things that are above; where Christ is.
Christianity is not simply an attempt to keep vile desires under control. Its object is to change our central desire system. It is to make us stop desiring the things of Christ.
Let us not love reluctanly but exuberantly, gladly. Let us not be kind because we must because we want to. Let us forgive others with a generous overflow of forgiveness. We have been transformed from within not just camouflaged from without.
What about the old man, the person governed by evil desires? he is dead, Paul says. He died with Christ. We not longer are obligated to honor the desires and pleasures of the old man. Let us move away from even the lingering inclination to live according to the desires of the old man.
For the root of setting your mind on things above are some beautiful fruit grows. Life abounds with words and acts of love and kindness. One continues to eliminate actions that are out of harmony with His love and continues to add expressions of it. Life becomes sweeter and more powerful to do good.
In the family relationships will serve to build each other up. Family members will recognized that they have individual differences. They will respect those differences and valve them. They will be mutually considerate and supportive. No one will be asked to sacrifice his own individuality. All will be asked to support the others individuality.
This is so important in today's world where there are so many pressures on family life. Our day is one of changing concepts and expectations. There are increasing liberties and fewer inhibitions. We are much more reliant on internal value and controls than ever before. This is not bad if the internal values are securely there and are mature. Too often they are not.
In our pressure cooker world many seek an escape through drugs, including alcohol. How much better it is to have life regulated by the image of Christ, upon whom we have set out minds?
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