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Seeking and Setting


Last month I had the privilege of spending a weekend with our Jr. High and High School students at KSM Winter Camp. We spent our time in God’s word focused on Colossians chapter three with an eye towards how Christ sanctifies us.

In our Saturday night session, we focused on the first four verses of the chapter.

Colossians 3:1–4 (ESV) — 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have 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.

The initial imperative of this passage implores us to seek the things that are above. This is the aim of the Christian life, to seek those things that are eternal and rooted in the work of Christ. This then raises the question: “how do we seek the things above?” Thankfully the text gives us the answer in verse two: set our minds on things that are above. So often we are focused on what we do, but Paul calls to Colossians to set their minds, or to THINK about the things that are above.

A significant part of the battle in the Christian life takes place in the mind. R. Kent Hughes calls this the Great Divide of the Christian Life. He explains that the things we set our minds on determines what we seek and our seeking determines the direction of our Christian lives. In other words, you will do what you seek and you will seek what you set your mind on.

In the following verses, Paul gives us two things to set our minds on. In verse three he gives a past truth for us to set our minds on: that we have died and our lives are hidden with Christ. In verse four he gives us a future truth: that when Christ appears we will appear with Him in glory. My brothers and sisters, if we live with these truths consistently in our minds we will no doubt be bolstered in our efforts to seek the things above and in the power the Spirit we will live in light of these truths.