Col. 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
I hope you weren’t ever like me on this issue, but there was a short period of time in my life – maybe just for a year – when I was a young man – when I was thinking really stupid over something. I was mad about certain holidays like Valentines Day. I’d say dumb things like,”these days were created by Card companies just to sell cards.” I’d put on a little rant about it and give all my reason I wasn’t going to cave into them. I know, that was really dumb! The truth is, I always caved into them because I’d be in hot water with Renee if I didn’t.
As I grew older, I grew to appreciate all kinds of Holidays. They were like a form of accountability. They helped me focus and set my affections on something that needed periodic focus and attention.
Now here I am with Valentines Day coming up and I’m happily preparing for it. As I was thinking about it this morning, it began to stir things in me. I went and grabbed an old photo album of when Renee and I first met. As I sat and looked through some of those pictures, it produced so many great feelings and memories. I found this one picture of us and in just looking at it I thought, you could see we were destined to be together!
Prior to thinking about Valentines Day today, I was kneeling by my bed early this morning reading and praying from Psalm 150. It’s a Psalm speaking of praising God for all His majesty and greatness. You could easily read through this Psalm in about 40 seconds and it probably wouldn’t register all that much within you. As I was reading the Lord brought another verse to my remembrance. It was today’s Fresh Manna verse. I could hear Him say, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” When I felt the Lord impress my heart with that verse, I read through Psalm 150 differently. I began to meditate on each verse. Verse one said, ”Praise the Lord in His Sanctuary.” I began to think about God in His Sanctuary – in His Heavenly Home and our future home. Jesus said before He arose into Heaven, “I am going to prepare a place for you…”
Then I remembered that the Apostle John had described God’s Sanctuary in a vision in Rev. 4:2-11. “And instantly I (John) was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it! The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. And from the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven lampstands with burning flames. They are the seven spirits of God. In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings had the form of a lion; the second looked like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth had the form of an eagle with wings spread out as though in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one who lives forever and ever. And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”
As I read these things, it began to deepen my worship and praise of the Lord. It isn’t important that I understand every little thing that’s going on. What is important is when you look and mediate on the reality of Heaven and God’s throne and where we will spend eternity, the cares of this world begin to shrink and the bigness of God begins to grow. It makes me feel and want to be more reverent. It draws me into the reality of how short this life is and how long eternity is. It reminds me that that it’s not man but Jesus I serve and live for. This is where and with whom I will spend all my eternity and it’s a place of glory that is beyond my comprehension.
It does me good when I set my mind and affections on Renee in a special way for Valentines Day. It will be a blessing to Renee to let her know of my love for her and how much she means to me. And of course she will be happier that I have done this.
How much more important is it to set my affections on things above – on God’s Sanctuary and throne, on all He has created, on all His mighty acts of power and surpassing greatness. It helps me live out my life in reverence to Him. It strengthens me in my resolve to represent Jesus as I purpose to be a light. It reminds me that this life passes so very quickly and that what seemed so important today will be a fading memory tomorrow.
There are things in our life that deserve attention and affection and that will make our life better for doing so. But they don’t compare in the scope of the greatness of God, of His plan of great love through Jesus, and on all the things God tells us about our future Heavenly home. Those truths will shape our lives with purpose, with strength, and great resolve. Next time life’s circumstances are weighing you down, go kneel down, open up to Psalms, and think about God’s greatness. His Spirit will transform you and lift you up!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.