By Scarlett Stough
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. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4Is this an impractical admonition or limited to those few whose life's work is in God's service? How does a person who must work for a living and tend to the needs of a family set his or her heart on things above? Can a person do both?
The rest of this letter to the church at Colosse shows us how this can be done. We are showing reverence for God when we bring our desires into agreement with his character. We can fill our minds and our time with thoughts and actions that result in our mates and children having their emotional and physical needs met. We can avoid activities and thoughts that take away from our time and affection to our families.
We are showing reverence for God when we use language to benefit others through kindness and truth. We show reverence for God when we thank him throughout the day for every pleasant experience and every need being met. We can thank him for the good that will result as we continue to love and trust him through the difficulties of life.
We don't have to seclude ourselves from the rest of the world to be able to “rest in the Lord.” We can find peace and help through instant prayer when we're trying to figure out how to resolve a conflict. God promises to be so close that he is “in us.” (John 14:16-18; 14:25-27) The Counselor can bring to mind the Scriptures you have read or the soft answer or the power to be merciful as needed. We do have to be available spiritually to receive that help.
How can we be available? “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2
Instead of trying to read as much as possible in a short time, we can choose a portion of the word of God to read and to think about throughout the day. We can consider what it means and how to apply it. We can ask God to teach us. Then we can look for opportunities to practice obedience to it.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers….Titus 2:3When a conversation starts to lead into malicious talk about another, we can stop it cold with a kind word and hope for blessings from God for the object of the gossip. This is practicing reverence for God in the way we live.
Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children….Titus 2:4We reverence God when we practice I Corinthians 13:4-8 within our families. We love our husbands or wives and children when we don't allow ourselves to retaliate to an unkind tone with an unkind tone. Almost automatic, isn't it, to respond in kind? This obedience requires power from God through the Holy Spirit. How do we get that power? We ask for it.
The study and the practice of living the word of God is a lifetime process. When we are small children, we can understand the concept of love in a limited way, but as we grow into adults, and into our senior years, our understanding can mature and deepen. This growth requires effort and desire on our part as God gives his Holy Spirit and knowledge of his word to us.
Reverence or consecration to God is modeled to us by Ezra, a priest descended from Aaron.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Ezra 7:10 KJVEvery Christian has a priestly duty to seek to know the will of God, and to practice it, and then to go on teaching God's will to the next generation of Christians. If we are living it, and experiencing the good results of obedience to the will of God and a close relationship with him through prayer, we will want to pass on this blessing to others.