Something happened the other day that I thought was quite amazing. I did not expect it, nor did I anticipate its effect. It happened in an instant, yet had a lasting influence. It had, and continues to have, a wonderful impact on my outlook, attitude, perspective, feelings, and even actions.
Here is what happened…I was minding my own business, deep in the stresses and hassles of the holiday; parties to plan, the yards to keep up and add that special Christmas decor, gifts to purchase, sermons to write, the family Christmas letter to create, trying to carve out time to take in some Christmas lights and watch those Christmas movies, enjoy time with family and friends, and more. In the fray of all this, memories flooded into my mind as they do every year at Christmas; lots of good recollections, but also the not-so-good ones, you know those deep hurts that sting a bit like a tender bruise. In all this my mind and thoughts started to head toward a negative, downward spiral. That’s when it happened!
God thrust a Bible verse into my mind…
Colossians 3:1-2 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
To seek is to choose to set your thoughts on, to think about, to make a mental turn…and the challenge here is to elect to take some mental energy and reflect on Jesus. I know this is not revolutionary, but I choose to take a moment at set my thoughts on Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called2 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Colossians 1:15-17 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
That’s Jesus! The One Christmas is all about. Jesus The leader, The LORD, The One in Charge, The Sovereign above all rulers and authorities, the Name above all names, The giver of life and Creator of all we see. I love the Late Dr. S.M. Lockridge’s description of Jesus. Here are a few lines from his famous sermon:
My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s an Ethnic King. He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King.
He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King.
He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent. He’s the grandest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King.
(To read or hear the full sermon click here)
Wow…and then it happened; the stress was less, the list of to do’s was not as daunting, the expectations turned into opportunities, and the difficult memories lost their sting. I has ‘a choice thought’ and set my mind on Jesus, and it changed my perspective. I know it can for you as well. Give it a try and notice that smile!
Seeking to set my thoughts on Jesus with you,
PS One great way to set our minds on Jesus is to go to church, especially this Sunday and Christmas Eve. If you are not attending a church or have not been in a while. We would like to invite you join us. You can attend this Sunday at one of our campuses and also join us on Christmas Eve (December 24th) for a wonderful candlelight service at either 4pm, 5:30pm, or 7pm. You can find information and directions on our website www.cypresschurch.net. We would love to see you.