“Affections immersed in the love of Christ provide clarity to a conflicted mind.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 19, 2022
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3, NKJV
My son-in-law mentioned in our Wise Sons text thread (the three other brothers-in-laws and me) that he had just deleted 30 phone apps—undesirable and unhealthy. I thought, what a simple exercise, sounds smart, so I’ll do the same. No need to clutter my life with distractions that lead to bad outcomes. I catch myself enjoying the ease of swiping my phone screen and just like that ordering stuff: books, gadgets, and more books. But do I really need more stuff to clutter up and complicate my life? Am I as conscious of setting my affections above with the re-centering of my soul as I am at swiping my phone? My cluttered life can lose its edge of effectiveness for Christ. The new year is a helpful time to reset my mind and affections above, so I send ahead treasures that outlast trivial trinkets left behind.
Paul understood the clutter of a culture that demands attention from a religious leader of his status, with an intellectual air that left many amused and amazed. Once a driven crusader against Christ, Paul encountered Christ personally and became a crusader for Him. Because of his radical change of heart, Paul sacrificed his resume of accomplishments on the dung heap of earthly desires in exchange for “knowing Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering” (Philippians 3:10). Paul found great delight in decluttering his life for his Lord!
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).
Has your life become cluttered with trivial matters and less meaningful stuff? What is your plan to regularly declutter your calendar and checkbook to more reflect the heart of Christ? Pray about a practical process to place boundaries around your tendency to spend too much on earthly possessions. Replace this temptation with a routine to route your resources toward the true riches of treasure in heaven. A regular trip to a thrift store that supports Christian ministry is a good habit to cultivate. You can drop off your over accumulation of stuff and at the same time support kingdom initiatives. Declutter and become a more focused disciple of Christ.
You will find the greatest delight by elevating your affections upward toward the lover of your soul, Jesus Christ. A life surrendered to Jesus does not allow other competitors to gain unhealthy influence over the physical, spiritual and emotional. The summer months subtly suck life from your soul if you are not intentional with your time of Spirit-led refreshment. Invite God’s creation to create fresh faith in your heart and allow the experience of another culture to grow your grace and understanding toward those different from yourself. Your affections immersed in the love of Christ provide clarity by decluttering a conflicted mind. So be free!
“That means you can sell your possessions and give generously to the poor. You can have a different kind of savings plan: one that never depreciates, one that never defaults, one that can’t be plundered by crooks or destroyed by natural calamities. Your treasure will be stored in the heavens, and since your treasure is there, your heart will be lodged there as well. I’m not just talking theory. There is urgency in all this. If you’re apathetic and complacent, then you’ll miss the moment of opportunity” (Luke 12:33-35, The Voice).
Heavenly Father, remind me to reassess and release my stuff so I am free from the bondage of materialism, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What can I give away or sell that frees me to be a better giver and servant of Jesus?
Maverick City Music feat. Mav City Choir & Naomi Raine: Revelation 19:1
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