Where Our Focus Should Be

The Book of Colossians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:52
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We have things we seek, things we desire, long for. Paul instructs the Colossians to seek for and delight in Heavenly things, not the things of this Earth. He is telling them where their focus should be in life. Not on Earth, but in Heaven.

CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TEXT STYLES 1 A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck. "Where's Harry?" he was asked. "Harry had a stroke of some kind. 2 He's a couple of miles back up the trail." "You left Harry laying there, and carried the deer back?" "Well," said the hunter, "I figured no one was going to steal Harry." This man was very focused on his hunting. 3 We all have a focus. The thing that takes priority in our life. Our focus drives our actions. Our focus moves us along towards our goals. 4 We need to make sure our focus is the right focus. Having the wrong focus in life can cause immense problems. 5 Today we are going to look at an instruction from Paul. This instruction tells us where our focused should be. Turn to Colossians 3:1 6 Paul had just told the Colossians to avoid false teachings which distract from Christ. And they should reject the commands of men, which only seems wise. They should do this because they were saved by Christ and Christ alone. 7 Colossians 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 8 Focus Affected by Status “if you have been raised” This is one of those 1 st class conditional statements. Paul is not questioning if they had been saved. 9 He is saying since they were raised they are to seek. Their status as raised with Christ should affect their focus in life. Seeking things above involves centering their lives on Christ. 10 The False Teachers had not experienced such a spiritual resurrection. The status of the false teachers as not in Christ affected their focus. No wonder their religious life consisted of rules about earthly things. 11 Focus Drives Activity “keep seeking the things above” This is an instruction to pursue spiritual things. The word “above” is a reference to heavenly things. 12 Seek is an action word. To seek is to strive for. To take action towards achieving something. 13 To actively search for. If our focus is towards heaven our daily actions will be directed to things above. 14 Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 15 True godliness has to do with obedient behavior. So there is need to abandon the old lifestyle and embrace the new. Paul tells the Colossians to reach out for those holy things that are theirs in Christ. 16 Focus For a Reason “ Where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God .”— “Where” marks “the things above” as the region of the heavenly things 17 Christians, at salvation are transferred from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God. We now belong under its kingdom laws. 18 We partake of its kingdom privileges and are possessors of its God-given gifts. This is the reason our focus should be on Heavenly things, that is now our home. 19 Matthew 6:20 “ But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 20 A lighthouse along a bleak coast was tended by a keeper who was given enough oil for one month and told to keep the light burning every night. One day a woman asked for oil so that her children could stay warm. 21 Then a farmer came. His son needed oil for a lamp so he could read. Still another needed some for an engine. 22 The keeper saw each as a worthy request and measured out just enough oil to satisfy all. Near the end of the month, the tank in the lighthouse ran dry. 23 That night the beacon was dark and three ships crashed on the rocks. More than 100 lives were lost. When a government official investigated, the man explained what he had done and why. 24 "You were given one task alone," insisted the official. "It was to keep the light burning. Everything else was secondary." We need to stay focused and on task. 25 What are the “things above” we need to seek. A good place to start is Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 26 A life spent seeking; striving after these things is a life spent seeking the things above. One of the ways we do this is by changing how we think. 27 Colossians 3:2–3 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 28 Focus Driven by Mindset “ Set your mind” The phrase implies more than thinking. It includes values and loves as well. It could well be translated “delight in things above.” 29 The first command “to seek” refers to actions. This command is to love them and let our desires be for them. If we love and desire heavenly things we will seek them. If we change our mindset it will change our focus 30 Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 31 Paul is specifically telling the Colossians to not fall for the false teachers. Who limited the focus of Christianity to this earth and its rituals. 32 Focus Eliminates Distraction “The things on the earth” are the material, elementary things of the world. The religion of the False Teachers had a mind set on these things; 33 So they had rules about not handling, tasting, touching certain things, about eating and drinking, festivals and sabbaths. 34 Why should we not have our minds set on “things on the earth?” They are unsuitable to us as Christians; They can never satisfy your desires. They are fleeting and inconstant. 35 Paul does not mean that we should never think the things upon the earth. He means these should not be our aim, our goal, our focus. The Christian has to keep his feet upon the earth, but his head in the heavens. 36 Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, The things on the earth’ are not of themselves sinful. 37 They become so if they are made the focus of our lives. 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 38 Notice its not the money that is the root of evil, its the love of it. Love of any Earthly material thing can lead to all sorts of evil. Christians are to think and live in the Spirit, not in the flesh. 39 Focus on Source “ your life is hidden with Christ in God.” The word “life” is ζωη. This is the resurrection life which Christians enjoys. 40 It is the eternal life given us which has as its source Christ. This life is hidden with Christ. Our spiritual life is no longer in the sphere of the earthly and physical. 41 The word hidden is talking about secure and safe, protected. Paul’s point here is the source of believers’ lives. The source of this new life, that which sustains Christians, is Christ. 42 Because Christ is the source we can know we are safe, secure. One tribe of American Indians had a unique test for young warriors. 43 After learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test. 44 He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and the tribe. 45 But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods and he was terrified! 46 Every time a twig snapped, he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce. After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke. 47 The first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path. 48 Then, to his utter astonishment, He saw a man standing just a few feet away, armed and ready to defend him. 49 It was his father. He had been there all night long. When we get focused on the world we can get awfully scared. 50 We need to know we are not alone, we know this when we stay focused on the things of Heaven. How do we do this? For me one of the keys to this is keeping things in perspective. 51 Most people live in the 10 minute perspective we are focused on this world. All our thoughts are on what is happening right here right now. 52 When we can keep in mind where we will be in 10,000 years. In Heaven with God. We can know all these earthly things will be of no importance. We can stay focused on the things of Heaven. 53 Both in our mind and in our actions. Keeping this long term perspective makes sense in light of our destination. 54 Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 55 Long Term Focus Christ will appear again. He is now hidden; in Heaven But he will appear and every knee will bow. 56 Paul is talking about the Second Coming. When Christ’s divinity and glory shall be made plain to all. This should affect our focus 57 Are we looking forward to this? Do we seek this result, this goal? If we are we should set our focus Heaven and not the earthly things. 58 What is there here worth focusing on? Our head is there, our home is there, our treasure is there, and we will be there forever. 59 Destination Determines Focus “ with Him in glory.” Here we have the reason our focus should be with the things above and not with those on earth. 60 He will appear at the Rapture, believers will appear with Him and will be glorified. This glorified body with be “with” Christ in Glory forever. 61 This is our destination, where we are headed. Such a destination should determine what we focus in this life now. 62 Albert Einstein was traveling from Princeton on a train . When the conductor came down the aisle punching tickets Einstein reached in his vest pocket. 63 He could not find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there so he looked in his briefcase, but still could not find it. 64 He looked in the seat next to him, but it was not there. The conductor kindly said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are, we all know who you are. 65 I’m sure you bought a ticket, don’t worry about it.” The conductor then continued on his way punching tickets. 66 Just before he went to the next car He turned around and saw the great scientist on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket. 67 The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry. I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket.” 68 Einstein said, “Young man, I too know who I am. What I don’t know is where I am going.” 69 Focus on where you are headed not where you are standing. Destination decides focus. Where you are going to end up should determine your priorities as you travel. 70 Paul has instructed us to focus on the things of Heaven. We are to focus our actions on heavenly things. We can only do this if we focus our thoughts and desires there. Paul has provided excellent reasons for us to have this focus. 71 We have been raised in Christ who is in Heaven. Christ is the source of our Spiritual life is in Heaven with Christ not here on earth. Our eternal destination is to be with Christ in Heaven. 72 For these reasons Paul calls us to focus on the things of Heaven. This can certainly be a challenging thing to do. The things of this world call to us constantly. 73 We have to be just as constant in our turning to God . ( pause ) These instructions were given to people who had been raised up with Christ. 74 This being raised up with Christ is something that occurs when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Trusting that God came in the form of a man…. 75 76
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