Christians are to be a passionate people. Their passions in life have to be different from those which they cherished prior to their conversion. They have a new passion, which Paul described in Colossians 3:2, when he urged the Christians to “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”.
The Greek verb phroneo, translated as “set your affection”, means “direct your mind to something”. Christians’ thoughts should be directed to Christ and the heavenly domain where He now dwells. That is our ultimate destination; and hence it must be our preoccupation while we live on this earth. We are to be heavenly-minded (“on things above”), because as Paul says in Philippians 3:20, “For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What are your ardent interests? The great object of our contemplation should be the celestial city that Jesus prepares for us. Readiness for that final home must be our greatest passion on earth.
While we are exhorted to be heavenly-minded, we are also cautioned not to be earthly-minded – “not on things on the earth”. Our affections should not be placed on wealth and health, houses and lands, honour and pleasure, etc. Neither should our passions be worldly fashion and corrupting entertainments of this world. Worldly lusts must be denied. The deeds of the flesh, which are sinful, must be mortified. No provision should be made for the encroachment of worldly allurements.
While Christ and heaven draw us upwards, the earth and its charms draw us downwards. Let us not yield to the pull of earthly things, but earnestly pursue heavenly things. Let us not love things that are earthly and perishing, but heavenly and everlasting. Apostle John admonishes us in 1 John 2:15-16, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Christians must always be conscious and deliberate to prefer and pursue heavenly and eternal matters above earthly and carnal matters. Unless our affections are set on the heavenly matters, we will never seek after them in a proper manner. Let Christ and heavenly things be our greatest concern, passion and pursuit. Let us be desirous of everything that fixes us to heaven and its eternal glory
Youth Retreat – Testimonies
Thank God for the committee for planning and facilitating this camp, even in the midst of their busy schedule. Thank God also for the provision of a place, so that many others could join us in the retreat. I am especially blessed by the messages that clearly spoke against spiritual hypocrisy. It helps me to understand that the root of spiritual hypocrisy is the low view of God. The consequence of one’s spiritual hypocrisy is not only upon the individual but also others. In order to have a close relationship with God, it is important not to be prideful and find excuses for our sins, but rather to regularly take time to go before God, ask Him to search our hearts and be ever ready to repent.
Lim Hua See