Journal Col 3 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “If then 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 things that are above—not on things that are on earth—for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ (who is your life) appears then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, what is earthly in you…” Col 3:1-5a
Observation: Pursuit of Holiness. Spoken of in many ways and in many places in the Scriptures, as it is here.
Analysis: I wonder if the message of “Pursue holiness” resonates in the hearts of folks today?
If it did, what would be seen?
In the process of building disciples, I am very much a proponent of a “step growth” plan. After all, I can readily see in my life that I cannot do all things at once. If I did (and I have tried that before), it comes out as a mish-mosh of Christianese in speech and a start-stop collection of the teaching of the day OR a pursuit of whatever I think my heart is telling me as an emotion. (The subject of “calling” is in this category.)
God uses this “willy-nilly” approach, but I am reminded it is seed cast upon sandy soil: takes some root and can even flourish as long as intemperate weather stays away. But the optimum growth comes from deep, dark, rich soil—the kind found when it is tilled, watered, fertilized—lovingly cared for.
Another analogy is the building figure: what does a building need? A strong foundation. To be sure, the bigger the vision for the building, the stronger foundation needed. And if it is to be the Church, strong is required. Weak foundations are evident if the Building Inspector visits.
Pursing holiness looks like it is one of those indispensable pillars in being a Christian and the building of the local church.
I have been pulling out older CD’s (in this case, Sonicflood) for the car of Christian music and have been reminded again of the attitude of pursuing holiness. The Holy Spirit uses music for so many things. In my admittedly meager collection I see I have more music that drives me to worship BECAUSE it drives me to sound doctrine than I have for anything else (except Elvis, Ray, and the Beach Boys—I do have a few of those)
“Seek the things and are above…. Set (my) mind on things that are above… Put to death what is earthly in (me)…” These are directive statements for the believer. These are implicit directives about pursuit of holiness.
These are also imperatives that are to be fiercely embraced.
Prayer: Lord God, I am sitting here typing and thinking. I am grateful for so many things, having the thought of how mundane my gratefulness must sound. And yet, I am very aware that gratefulness starts somewhere, and it is my obligation to expand my gratefulness to all sorts of the areas of my life.
But I cannot skip holiness. I can’t skip over holiness by doing something else I am more comfortable doing. In this case, Serving You is not the same as “serving you by going something for you.”
You don’t necessary want me to be a soldier, a farmer, a builder, even a pastor—those are things, tasks, positions that You ordain for the local Church to function. But what you WANT me for is to be built, actively looking to be built, into the image of the Son. That is the way of holiness in You.
Cause revival. AMEN