For New Visitors
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Colossians 3:2, English Standard Version (ESV)
Welcome to Things That Are Above, a personal blog started for the encouragement of Christians everywhere to set our minds on “things that are above.” We as Christians have largely been overcome by evil: we must once more, as the apostle Paul writes, “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). The world has overcome us (negatively influenced us, to use better terminology; Jesus promises that the “gates of hell” won’t overcome His Church, Matthew 16:18) by enslaving us to good things that are not the best things. We have (in general) become too materialistic, too focused on earthly blessings, that we have all but forgotten the spiritual blessings, and responsibilities, that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The world with all its pleasures has consumed our time. With school, jobs, television programs, restaurants, and “living the American dream,” there is no longer any time for true devotion to God. The Creator of the universe is doing good just to get half-hearted devotion from us even during Sunday worship services (or whatever day of the week your home church chooses to meet on). We are, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, what we do. And we do what we think. And when we think so much on things of this world and neglect proper, personal worship of God through reading His Word the Bible and in prayer, we are hypocrites! God deserves so much more than mere lip service for two hours out of our oh-so-busy weeks!
What I advocate is a back-to-the-basics Christianity. Over the past century particularly, Satan has infiltrated God’s church with his wolves in sheep’s clothing through American pop culture. There is nothing wrong with being financially well-off or enjoying earthly blessings, but they must not become the focus of our lives, as they undoubtedly have for so many of us—and I make this statement based solely upon our actions! We condemn ourselves, brothers and sisters, when we choose a TV program over quiet time with God. We condemn ourselves when our minds are not focused on worship even when we are in a worship service!
What, then, are we to do? Simply “set [our] minds on things that are above.” Christians’ theology, at large, is bad (because it has been influenced by the worldly lie of individualism, among others). We must conform our beliefs to the Scriptures, and not pick and choose which verses we accept as true and which ones we accept as false. Either the Bible is perfectly true and the Word of God, or it isn’t. (This topic will be more thoroughly covered in future blog posts.) As for me, I believe whole-heartedly that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and “is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). From this basic truth, we have an obligation to apply it. Since the Bible is the Word of God, then we should obey it, for God is, indeed, to be obeyed.
“Set your minds on things that are above” is a broad, umbrella statement. We are to read our Bibles, pray, and yes, even attend church (this last point is controversial to some, and I will address it in a later post). More importantly, though, or in other words, we are always to have an attitude of worship. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances [i.e., worship]; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We are always to be worshipping God, regardless of circumstances!
With all that said, this blog will weekly (approximately; I can be erratic—unlike the Bible, I am NOT always going to be here when you need me—and that’s why you would be very well advised to subscribe via either RSS or by email; links are to the right) provide posts meant to help you set your mind on “things that are above.” Mainly, posts will provide a devotional for a certain Bible passage; make a contrast between a secular work/event with the Word of God; recommend Christian books, blogs, podcasts, etc.; or present a defense of various important Biblical doctrines and/or an argument against various dangerous heresies. Any blog I post, though, has the ultimate goal of pointing you toward “things that are above.” I post every blog in the ultimate hope that readers will leave closer to God than before they read. I post every blog praying that God will use this jar of clay for His glory.
I end with some links to other websites that you might find helpful in dwelling on “things that are above:”
John Piper’s website for Desiring God
John MacArthur’s website that hosts his various ministries
Albert Mohler’s blog that also has links (at the top) to his radio podcasts
Eastside Baptist Church’s new podcast for their recent sermons
Now that this partiular blog post is done, I highly recommend that you go “set your minds on things that are above.” This blog is just that: a blog. It can supplement—and maybe even be a part of—but must never substitute as full and optimal worship of God. Go prayerfully read the Scriptures. Go sing a song of praise to our Creator, Savior, and King. Go thank Him for the blessings He’s given you. Go share the gospel with someone. Go be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Go worship God.
I leave you with 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
God bless you all in His grace.
Note: All verses (in this post and all following posts) are from the ESV unless otherwise noted.