Winning from Above (Pt 3)

Daily Devotion | Day 307

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV).

In our previous messages we looked at our blessings in the heavenly places. We also covered the fact that God has made us sit with Christ in the heavenly places. You need a heavenly vision to succeed in your earthly mission. Today, we will conclude the series by looking at how to maintain a heavenly perspective during our time on earth. To do this, we will examine what Paul says in today’s opening Scripture from his Letter to the Colossians.

In the passage, notice that Paul is pointing us above – to the heavenly places. If we have been raised with Christ, he says, we should seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Recall from yesterday that Christ is not seated alone. We’re seated with Him. If you’re seeking something, it means that thing is important to you. As Jesus Himself stated, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Because we and Jesus are joined by an eternal covenant, He is our treasure. It makes sense, therefore, to seek His face and keep our gaze on Him.

Next, Paul tells us how to go about seeking the things above. “Set your minds on things above,” he says. Where your mind goes, your life goes. When you focus your mind on something, it affects you one way or the other. Seeking the things above involves the exercise of the mind. This means we need to tune our mind to heavenly things. If you want to view a particular television program, you switch to the appropriate channel. A similar principle applies in our Christian walk. Whether you win or lose begins with your mind. Therefore, it matters where you turn your mind.

The Scriptures contain a revelation of heavenly things intended for our meditation. When you meditate, it means you’re setting your mind on something. The Scriptures act like a mirror. They show you images of God’s glory. When you meditate, you’re looking intently in that mirror. And as you do so, you’re changed into that same glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18). Isaiah says, “You [God] keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you” (26:3, ESV). You win by setting your mind on the right things. And there’s nothing better to focus on than Jesus. When you focus your mind on the wrong things, your life will go in the wrong direction. 

To sum up: In Christ, God has made you a winner. To remain a winner, God wants you to tune your mind to things above, where Christ is, where your victory is. Nourish your mind with the right thoughts. Keep your mind above and win from above. And may the blessing of the Lord remain upon you. Amen.

For further studyPsalm 121:1-8 and Matthew 5:1-16

The Father Knows

Daily Devotional: Day 147

“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:29-31, NKJV).

If you worry, you can’t rest. And, when you can’t rest, it’s hard to please God. But if you believe in God, you will be calm. Faith in God causes you to rest. A stressful (anxious) life is one of the chief enemies of the spiritual life. You need to come to a point where the Lord’s presence is enough to make you rest like a baby in the arms your Father in heaven. When you reach that point, anxiety, stress, panic and temper issues will be gone from your life. When the Lord repeatedly tells us not to worry, we need to pay attention. Worrying is symptomatic of a lack of faith.

Worrying impairs your spiritual vision and your ability to discern the will of God. It further impairs your ability to recognize the provident Hand of God in your life. Worrying is characteristic of people who do not know the Father God who provides. That is what Jesus is telling us today. Your Father in heaven knows that you need food and drink and other necessities of life. But the question is: Do you know the Father knows that you need these things? This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s loaded with meaning. When you know that the Father knows about what you need, then you have no reason to worry. This kind of knowledge – knowing that the Father knows – is a source of great peace and calm for your soul.

People get agitated because they don’t know the Father. And, because they don’t know the Father, they don’t know His love and provision. If they knew Him, they wouldn’t be agitated. Jesus warns against having an anxious mind. Based on the Greek word meteorizomai, an anxious mind refers to a mind that is unstable, easily tossed about like the waves of the sea. It describes what happens in a person’s mind when he is not sure that the Father will provide.

Jesus never worried about His needs. His secret was that He never took His eyes off the Father who provides. Learn from Jesus. Fix your eyes on the Father in heaven, and your worries shall cease.

The Lord’s blessing be upon you today! Amen.

For further study: Luke 12:22-34

Renovating Your Mind

Daily Devotional: Day 117

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2, NKJV).

There will be no true revival without a renovation of our minds. In the Bible, Jehovah reveals His mind to us. Likewise, when Jesus came into the world, He showed Himself to be the fullest revelation of the Mind of God. To renovate your mind, it takes an intentional effort to conform your mindset with God’s mindset as revealed in the Scriptures. Renovation of the mind is your responsibility. It won’t happen automatically. For so long, many of us have consumed garbage from television, movies, TV shows, magazines, ungodly music, anti-God public education (or “public indoctrination,” if you want), demonic ideologies, bad habits, toxic relationships, and even false teaching from the pulpit.

We all, in diverse degrees, have become victims at one point or another. We, therefore, need to be on a sustained detox program to purge our minds of toxic content. We need to repair and cleanse our mind on a daily basis through the healing spring of God’s unadulterated Word; because it is in the Word of God that we see clearly what kind of mind God wants us to have. This is a lifetime commitment, but the first step begins today.

Don’t go looking mainly for teachings that will stroke your ego or give you a good feeling. Crave, instead, for messages that will challenge you and even make you critically examine your Christian walk. You need that if you want a renovation of your mind. If you’re not being challenged, you can be sure that you’re not growing; you’re just enjoying a ‘Christian’ version of merry-go-round. You may very well enjoy the thrill of being entertained, but you will not move forward. And if you’re not moving forward, it means your mind is not being renewed, which also means you’re not being transformed.

You meet a lot of Christians, and when you talk to them, it’s astonishing how far their mind is misaligned with God’s mind. Not surprisingly, many Christians have a hard time discerning the will of God for their lives. They will often ask questions like, “So, how do I know if this is God’s will or not?” The solution to this problem is stated in today’s opening Scripture. Paul asserts that renewing our minds is necessary so that we can prove the will of God. The Greek word translated “prove” means to carefully examine, scrutinize or investigate the genuineness of something. God’s will is good, acceptable and perfect. But to discern this will, you need a renovated mind, i.e. a mind that is aligned with God’s inspired Word.

Without a renovated mind, you’ll have a hard time figuring out God’s will for you. But when your mind is in alignment with God’s mind, you can distinctly know His good, acceptable and perfect will. Transformation happens when you tune your mind to God’s mind. From today, make the effort to align your mind with God’s mind as revealed in the Bible.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Amen.

Pray to our Father in heaven about what you’ve heard today.

For further study: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Right Heart, Right Life

Daily Devotional: Day 47

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them into their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10, KJV).

The new covenant is established through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Under this new arrangement, God writes his law into the core of your being – heart and mind – when you believe in Christ and get saved. Consequently, your transformation will occur from inside out, and not from the outside. You will no longer attempt to obey God based on an external law written on stone tablet. In the Bible, you’ll find several instances of God’s instructions – including do’s and don’ts – which require your obedience. Because God’s law is already written in your heart, when you come across God’s law in the Bible, it’ll spark your interest and resonate with your spirit. This means your spirit will recognize the law and will not oppose it, because the same law is already in you. This is the basis for being happy to obey God. It’s the reason you don’t feel like a burden is being imposed on you. God’s law is already woven into the inner fabric of your born-again spirit. Therefore, keeping the commandments of God doesn’t come across as burdensome. On the contrary, you’re delighted to obey your Father in heaven (Read the verses of Psalm 119 below).

From this point on, you’re not obeying God to get him to save you, but rather, you’re obeying God because he has saved you by grace through faith, and you’re in love with him. It’s all about love from this point. The Apostle John put it perfectly when he wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).  Jesus himself also said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). True love for God inevitably bears the fruit of obedience. If you find yourself making light of God’s commandments or disobeying Jesus, it’s a red flag; repent and turn to God. A truly changed heart will always love the Father. And whoever loves the Father will love his law and keep it. It’s not complicated. 

Pray:

Father, thank you for the blessings of the new covenant. Thank you for writing your law into my heart and my mind. Thank you also for pouring your love into my heart (Romans 5:5). Because you have given me a new heart, I can and I will love and obey your Word. In the Name of Jesus. Amen. (Enjoy Don Moen’s rendition of the song “Trust and Obey”)

For further study: Psalm 119:89-106

Be Not Conformed to the World

Daily Devotional: Day 15

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2, KJV).

You can’t please God and please this world at the same time. The Father has set you apart for himself through the precious blood of Jesus and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:2). The day you got born again, you ceased to belong to this world. In fact, you even ceased to belong to yourself. God has marvelous plans for you, prominent among which is to conform you to the image of his Son. This transformation can’t happen if you give your heart over to the ungodly culture, practices and the unholy affairs of this world. Keep in mind that the dark forces of the world will come against you, because you’re a child of light. Darkness can’t tolerate light. Simple. The world will constantly pressure you to conform to its ways. But the Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). 

Don’t be afraid to be different, because being a Christian is about being different. Naturally, no one wants to feel isolated. Herein lies the temptation to conform. Many people today care more about this world’s opinion of them more than God’s opinion. They’ll, therefore, do whatever it takes to be accepted by the world. They call it progress. But, progress – for true children of God – means renewing our mind with the God’s Word and being separated unto a life of holiness. Your heart can’t serve two masters – God and the world. God wants to conform you to the image of Jesus Christ, not the image of the Satan-ruled world. Rejoice in being different.Choose godly transformation over unholy alliance with the world.

Pray:

Dear Father, thank you for setting me apart in Christ. And thank you for pouring your love into my heart. Your love is more precious than anything the world can offer me. In the Name of Jesus, I choose godly transformation over unholy alliance with the world. Amen.

For further study: 1 John 2: 1-17; John 17:11-18 

Pastor Stephen “Steve” Alfred Bilson-Ogoe
Charis Temple (non-denominational church)
Manassas, Virginia, USA

Office Phone: (888)-541-5594