19.3 Mind the things that are above (1)

Series 19

Episode 3

Prologue

Message

What does the book of Colossians teach us about overcoming the flesh? The believers in Colossae were ineffective in overcoming the flesh. Though they had the outward behaviours, yet they lacked the spiritual strength. Paul led us into spiritual enjoyment. This includes our mind and spirit. Our mind is also in our spirit. It doesn’t mean that outward things are not important. However, our spirit ought to play a leading role. We need to know His will and improve ourselves accordingly. He will strengthen us. Therefore, we cannot rely on outward elements. Paul said that we ought to mind the things that are above.

The Bible passages we read in previous episodes are not only the best suggestions; they are the way to guide us to mind the things above. Every detail is very clear, such as the presence of innumerable angels. You may ask, “What does it have to do with me?” Can you see their joy? We need to be influenced by the truth. The Lord sanctifies us by the truth. And the things that are above are very important truths.

In addition to the angels, it also describes many precious things. However, the truth about the angels is already very helpful to us because it helps us to understand better what heaven is like. The details are very abundant and meaningful. How bountiful is New Jerusalem! God’s throne is in the city. Not only is He on the throne, He is also governing in our heart. We do not manage our heart by our own strength, but by the One who sits on the throne.

The river of life is very meaningful. It is a real river and the water is drinkable. On either side of the river, the tree of life yields twelve kinds of fruit. This tells us that we can enjoy the Lord. He is our life. The river of life represents the Holy Spirit. We need to drink from the Holy Spirit, not relying on ourselves. The Holy Spirit gives us life. It is so precious that the Lord also gives us life.

Not only do we have the New Covenant, we also come to the mediator of the New Covenant. Isn’t this more precious? We have the New Covenant and the Lord is the guarantor. The Lord Himself is the most precious blessing of the New Covenant. The New Covenant has brought us into the most precious relationship with the Lord and Abba. The four blessings in the New Covenant are already very precious! On the night before His crucifixion, the Lord beautifully explained the New Covenant in great detail. He even set up the feast of the bread and the cup. This is a life-long feast, so abundant that we will use our lifetime to explore and enjoy. Moreover, His presence is with us in the break bread meetings. Over and over again, He gives us fresh enjoyment and enlightenment. This enjoyment we have in the break bread meetings is indeed a glimpse of eternity.

It is so abundant that I can only give you the overview. Sometimes you may feel that “the things above” mentioned in Colossians chapter 3 are too vague. In fact, they are very wonderful and abundant! What we gain by His grace is beyond our imagination. He has planned all things for us, including the heavenly places. Before His crucifixion, the Lord said, “…I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) That place is heaven! Let us consider: God Himself designed and built this city. Isn’t it amazing? With the greatness of His power, God could have created the city with just a command. But instead, God personally designs and builds it in order to show His love for us. This is beyond our comprehension, difficult for us to fully understand. 

Series 19

Coming to Mount Zion to Appear Before God

Message Date: 2020-03-22

The Lord is the way, the truth and the life. It’s so precious that we can go to the Father through Him. Hebrews 12 mentions that today we have not come to Mount Sinai (symbolizing law), but to Mount Zion (symbolizing grace). We live in grace, and enjoy deeply drawing near to the Father and the Lord. In the book of Colossians, some brothers and sisters turned back to the law, so Paul reminded them to mind the things above. Hebrews 12 tells us what are above: the heavenly Jerusalem, the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, innumerable angels, Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, the sprinkled blood, the spirits of the righteous made perfect, etc. Each of these is very abundant, essential and immeasurable. They also express God’s love, welcome and acceptance to us, and they help us to draw near to God. Psalm 84 tells us that in those times, Israel appeared before God in Zion; they longed to draw near to God. As for us, we have received grace even more tremendously and wonderfully. So, we should come before God and draw close to Him all the more.
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19.1 The Lord is the way, and the truth, and the life

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19.2 Live in Grace. Enjoy the Father and the Lord

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19.3 Mind the things that are above (1)

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19.4 Mind the things that are above (2)

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19.5 Appear before God in Mount Zion