Because He Lives

May 3-7


You Can Have a Higher Purpose

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. – Colossians 3:1 (ESV)

Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonnington, Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival was struck by the man’s appearance. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him. Many years afterward that boy—who could never get away from the influence of that wonderful face—became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In a book of memoirs, he penned a chapter entitled: “What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson.” That lighted countenance had changed his life. Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ!

The Apostle Paul had just finished explaining the futility of trying to live a life in the flesh and by legalistic works. He reminds his readers that we have been raised to a new life in Christ. With that new life in Christ, we have a higher purpose that begins with seeking things above.


The Apostle Paul wants us to be what we are already are in Christ. How is your purpose in Christ higher than it would be without Christ?


The old hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” has a line that says, “There’s light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free.” Turn your eyes and thoughts to Jesus in prayer. If you have time look up the lyrics to the hymn above and let that be your praise.


You Can Have a Higher Mindset

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:2 (ESV)

Pastor D L Moody said, “I have known men who have been up in balloons, and they have told me that when they want to rise higher they just throw out some of the sand with which they ballast the balloon. Now, I believe one reason why so many people are earthly-minded and have so little of the spirit of heaven, is that they have got too much ballast in the shape of love for earthly joys and gains; and what you want is to throw out some of the sand, and you will rise higher.

In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul is teaching that believers must now, enabled by the Holy Spirit, fight the good fight of faith by focusing upward “on things above” rather than downward “on things that are on the earth.” If we begin each new day with this mindset, then God will enable us to see people, events, and things from a heavenly perspective and we will have His wisdom and guidance as to how we should interact and/or what we should say.


What are some of the earthly things you tend to focus on that may be weighing you down? Starting your day with this devotion is a great way to focus on the things above. What are some other ways to start your day with a heavenly mindset?


Thank God for our Second family and the encouragement we give each other to focus on God’s higher calling. Look toward the sky and think about how high God is above the things of this world and praise Him.


You Can Have a New Purpose

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – Colossians 3:3 (ESV)

As missionary James Calvert approached the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship tried to discourage him from setting ashore on a cannibal island. “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages,” he said. Calvert only replied, “We died before we came here.” Clearly Calvert believed and lived out the truth that “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” We do well to imitate the lives of godly men like James Calvert

In Colossians 3:3, the tense of “died” is aorist which speaks of a past completed action. The truth is that believers died with Christ the moment they placed their faith in Jesus. Dying to self and living unto God is the very essence of a truly blessed and fulfilling life in this world and that to come. Paul is teaching that death with Christ involves also participation in His resurrection life which releases into the believer’s life a power that is more than adequate as a check against the appetites and attitudes of our old sinful nature.


Romans 6:1-4 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Based on these verses, what have you died to and what have you been raised to?


Thank God for the things of your past that are now dead in your spiritual life.


You Can Have a Hidden Purpose

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – Colossians 3:3 (ESV)

Larry Richards gives an interesting illustration of our new life with Christ – In Tarpon Springs, a little city about 10 miles from where we live, one of the major occupations is sponge diving. The sponge diver puts a helmet on his head, drops into the water, and as he gathers sponges he breathes through air lines fed by pumps in a boat far above him. Without that connection to a source of life far above him, the diver would be unable to survive. Paul is telling us that we too live this life in a dangerous and deadly environment. But we too are connected to a source of life far above us. Whenever we feel down, or get discouraged, or feel endangered, we’re to fix our minds not on what surrounds us, but on what sustains us. The very life force of Jesus flows into and through us. Because we are connected to Him, we will not only survive. We will triumph.

Without Christ, we can easily feel like we are drowning in worldly concerns. Pastor Jim reminded us from Colossians 3, our new spiritual life is no longer in the sphere of the earthly and sensual, but is with the life of the risen Christ, who is unseen with God. Saying our life is hidden with Christ is another way of saying we are eternally secure because Jesus is guarding it for us.


Because you are in Christ, you are secure and you have an intimacy with Jesus. How can your security and intimacy with Christ be a source of comfort as you deal with things in life that make you feel anxious and insecure?


Praise Jesus for being your source of life and keeping you from drowning. Thank Him for the assurance of knowing you have a secure relationship with Him.


You Can Have an Eternal Purpose

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. – Colossians 3:4 (ESV)

Ptolemy was one of the first teachers of astronomy (A.D. 127-51), one of the most eminent of the scientific men of the ancient world. He taught that our earth was the center of the universe and that all else revolved around it. How grand to think of ourselves as the hub of the universe! It took something like thirteen hundred years to dispel the illusion. Copernicus (A.D. 1473-1543) demonstrated that the sun was the center, with the earth and all else revolving around it. (Colossians 3:1-4 His Encouragement of Ambition)

Colossians 3:4 reminds us that Christ is the center of the believer’s life. The Apostle Paul writes, “Christ who is your life.” It’s a freeing and grace-filled day when we enter into a relationship with Christ and center our lives around Him. One day He will appear again and we will appear with Him as we truly are in Christ. The Apostle Paul writes, not “if” but “when” Christ appears! He will appear! That glorious event is more certain than the sun rising tomorrow! And His Second Coming could indeed be tomorrow!


It has been said, “Some Christians are so heavenly-minded they are no earthly good.” How can being heavenly-minded make you useful for good here on earth?


Philippians 3:20-21 reminds us, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” Praise God for the promises of these verses.