The First 15

Monday August 17, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Things Above


Colossians 3:1-2

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.


It’s very likely that the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Colossian church while he was under house arrest for two years in Rome. That would have been a very challenging season of life for Paul and, given our current situation, we can somewhat relate. Imagine how hard it would have been for Paul to keep his head in the game while being confined there indefinitely. He would have been grieving the ambiguous loss of his ministry and his life.

What he writes in our passage for today is not only good teaching for the Colossians but I would also imagine that these particular thoughts were also shaping Paul’s own mind and spirit throughout his time of confinement. “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.”

Paul reminds all of us of two important truths.

Even our thoughts have consequences.

What we think about shapes our attitudes, our future and our world.

James Bryan Smith, author of The Good and Beautiful God, offers a weekly podcast he calls, Things Above. In the intro he says, “The Things Above podcast is a podcast for “mind discipleship.” It is for those who want to set their minds on “things above” (Col. 3:2). Each week we offer a glorious thought—something good and beautiful and true, something excellent and praiseworthy—to fill our minds with heavenly truths.” Personally, I listen to this podcast every week because I need all the help I can get in shaping my own thoughts and attitudes to be positive and Christ-centered. I’m guessing the Apostle Paul would recommend this podcast as well.

Even though Paul never met the Colossians, he felt a responsibility toward them, toward all Christians everywhere. He wanted to remind all who are experiencing duress, loss, and distraction that Jesus Christ truly is Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all creation and that we have the ability to exchange our kingdom of earth-focused thoughts for kingdom of God-focused thoughts. Changing our thoughts changes us.

  • What is it that helps you set your mind on things above?
  • How might you become more intentional about setting your mind on things above?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help me set my mind on things above, where Christ is, seated at Your right hand. With Your Holy Spirit, help me turn away from my own selfish thoughts – my small, fleeting, kingdom of earth-focused thoughts, and help me, instead, set my thoughts on Your goodness, beauty and truth that lasts forever. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The First 15

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