What should we think about? When God thinks about us what is on his mind?
These bullet points from Ephesians 2 declare the reality of God’s thoughts about us.
— Verse 1 – We were dead through the trespasses and sins.
— Verse 3 – All of us once lived among them . . . and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else,
— Verses 4-6 – But God . . . even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
— Verse 8 – For by grace we have been saved through faith, and this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God.
What should occupy our minds?
Colossians 3.1-4 – So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
There is a good reason why our minds should be set on the things that are above.
(1) God’s grace transferred us from the domain of darkness (Colossians 1.13) and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2.6).
Since our rightful place is to experience the heavenly realm with Christ, we should learn to live in that environment.
Rufus Moseley often talked about “living in heaven on the way to heaven.” To follow Moseley’s lead, we must direct the attention of our minds to heavenly things.
This is an amazing privilege and we do ourselves a great favor to think about it and live in its reality.
(2) Paul’s letter to the Romans further explains why we should set our minds on the things above.
Romans 8.5-8 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed, it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
The person who spends their time thinking about attitudes and actions that are distant from God (that is, the flesh), is “living in hell on the way to hell” to quote Moseley once again.
While life apart from God is death, a mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
It’s our choice. No one is forcing us to think hostile, life-negating thoughts. We can join Paul and set our minds on the things that belong to life with Christ.
How can we do it?
How can we set our minds on the things that are above? Rufus Moseley is a good model.
(1) Moseley believed the truth of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount.
When Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5.8), he took Jesus at his word.
The “pure in heart” will one thing. They desire to love God with all their being as the primary focus of their lives.
Jesus taught that “pure in heart” people will “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6.33).
Moseley set his mind on the things above because he knew the payoff was great. He believed that he would experience the risen Christ in a profound way, which became his experience.
(2) Prayer, worship, and Bible study were other ways that Moseley set his mind on the things of the Spirit.
Each of these three disciplines is not an end in itself. Rather, they are extremely helpful tools that allow us to set our minds on the things above.
As we are seated with Christ in heavenly places, these three actions help us communicate with our heavenly Lord.
(3) Another feature of Moseley’s determination to “live in heaven on the way to heaven,” was expressed by a powerful love for other humans.
Moseley was well-educated and well-connected. He knew presidents and taught in major universities around the world.
What is interesting about Moseley was that he worked diligently for racial justice in the deep south during the 1930s and 1940s. He attended every execution of black men (some 500 of them) in Georgia until the governor no longer permitted him on death row.
What was the payoff?
What did Moseley gain by living a simple lifestyle that was focused on loving Jesus and other people?
His friends knew he had an unusual connection with God. Agnes Sandford remarked that the felt tangible spiritual power when she was in his presence.
His impact will only be fully known when heaven’s accounts are opened. Thousands were influenced by his weekly articles in Macon Georgia newspaper, “The Macon Telegraph.”
Millions of people like me have been inspired by his books.
I began today’s article with an imperative, “Think about it!”
Aren’t the truths from God’s word in today’s article worth the time and energy we should give to think about them? Shouldn’t we adjust our lives to them, as did Rufus Moseley?
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
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