Colossians 3:1-11

Robertson once said, “A person has to keep his feet upon the earth, but
his head in the heavens.” The stress of daily living has become a national
struggle. The busy schedules of the Palm Pilot generation overwhelm. On an average
day our schedules cram pack with meetings, phone calls, cell phone calls, soccer
or baseball practices for the kids, school, work, and fitness work outs with
personal trainers. The average person today struggles to keep his or her feet
grounded on earth.

greater challenge for a life out of balance is keeping our hearts focused toward
the heavens; that is, to keep the mind balanced by the spiritual things of Christ.
Is your life out of balance?

basketball coach John Wooden used to communicate to his players the importance
of maintaining their balance. “Stay in your stance,” he instructed
his players as he taught them to play defense. Of his great teams UCLA, he once
described a goal for each of his teams: balance. He said, “To me, balance,
next to love, is the most important word in our language.”

life of balance begins with a spiritual mind, or as Paul wrote to the Philippians,
“Have the mind of Christ” (Phil. 2:5-11).

up: Keep Seeking the Things Above (Col. 3:1-2).

challenges the church to keep on seeking the “upward things.” The
resurrection of Christ supplies strength for every believer to seek the heavenly
things of God while here on earth. How important to understand Christ’s
position at the right hand of God. How important, too, to understand that Christ
does not sit as an idle bystander but as a participant in our lives, as an ever
pleading intercessor for each person (Romans 8:34).

words of Paul form a circle: Christ seeks us; we seek him; he seeks us; we seek
his upward things. The Holy Spirit moves and works in the center of this circle
of life.

on seeking Christ by keeping him foremost in your mind (Col. 3:1). Think on

A. Carson talks about the “constant battle of temptation at the level of
the thought life.” Life tips in the balance when our thoughts, priorities,
and schedules exclude God. Live on the earth, but bring heaven to earth by thinking
of Christ, his purpose, plan, and pattern for living. Look up!

up: Christ Fills Life When We Seek Him (Col. 3:3-4).

indicates that the old person has died because of Christ. Jesus fills the heart
of the believer with his goodness and his glory. Christ quietly changes and
fills the heart with the hidden life of God. Pascal said, “There is a God
shaped vacuum that only God can fill.”

Miller once said, “Inwardness is the fount of our relationship with Christ.”
Paul says that Christ longs to fill the heart with his inwardness and to fill
the empty vacuum of the soul. Christ’s hidden life in you means that Christ
is quietly at work in mysterious ways.

has worked for us through the cross in the past. Christ’s hidden works
ministers together with us in the present. Christ’s future work will be
unveiled like the pulling back of a curtain when Christ returns in his glory.
All in all, the key to a balanced life is to allow Christ to be our life, not
biology, the physical makeup of our lives, but zoe, the spiritual essence of
Christ’s abundance hidden in us. Fill up with Christ! His life in you allows
you to stay balanced.

up: Christ Purifies Life as We Seek Him (Col. 3:5-11).

references the Christ life as one that creates a new person, one no longer given
to pornography, impurity, lustful passion (Augustine calls this “hell’s
black river of lust”), selfish evil desire, a greed that never has enough,
and idolatry (Col. 3:5). No longer do Christ’s servants live out of balance
as sons of disobedience, but they live as servants of Christ in faithful obedience
(Col. 3:6). Christ changes the heart and conduct (Col. 3:7). He calls us to
clean up daily and to “put off” as you would dirty clothing settled
anger, outbursts of anger, malice, blasphemy, obscene speech, and lying (Col.3:8-9).

daily renews the person who seeks Christ and his upward things (Col. 3:10).
Oswald Chambers says, “The springs of love are in God, not in us.”
God renews us with his fresh, eternal spring of living water. The springs generate
God’s love within, thus freeing us to love others. The cross has an attractive
quality: it brings all people together and keeps life balanced. To paraphrase
John Wooden, next to love, balance is the most important word in the Christian
life! Seek Christ!


brief provided by:  John Duncan, Pastor, Lakeside Baptist Church, Granbury, TX

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