Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque. We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another through worship by the word to the world.
Hey, I am happy to be here with you. At first, when I found out I wasn't going to Israel, I was like oh man. And then when I found out that I got to hang out with you, I was like OK, this is good. This is a fair trade. I'm all right with this.
It is a privilege. It's humbling to be up here. I grew up in this church. And I grew up sitting on cushions in this front section. We'd be laying down, taking notes as Pastor Skip brought the word as he preached the Bible. And I've said this before that easily Wednesday nights are easily my favorite night of the week. Because we're here-- Yeah, you can agree with that.
We get seminary level teaching in an environment-- that though it doesn't look like a living room, it feels like a living room. Pastor Skip pulls a stool out here and just opens the Bible, goes through a chapter, maybe two, and he just expounds on God's word. Well unfortunately for you, and for me actually, I'm not Pastor Skip. So I can't preach from a stool, you can't confine this, like I'm walking around. If I stop, so does my mouth. And so I can't be on a stool. And I'm definitely not going to be covering two chapters tonight.
But we are going to be in the Bible, and I believe that whenever God's word is opened, and whenever God's word is explained, the potential for change is through the roof. So before we start, before we pray, before we get into this message, I just want to share something with you that I got to share with our staff here at Calvary at one of our staff devos several months back. It's about bicycling.
I took up bicycling about a year ago. And I started riding my bike. I got like this old 1978 Peugeot and it's super fun to ride around. But I started riding to and from work. I'd ride downhill in the morning. And then I'd ride uphill after I had just work for eight hours. So I'm all exhausted, I'm riding uphill, and sometimes just felt so exhausted. How can I get home? I'm never going to get home. It's like it's a mile and a half away, bro, you'll be fine.
But there was one hill in particular that was a steep incline. And after doing it a few times, I went online and I was like, is there any way that I can make this easier on myself? Is there a better position I could be in on this bike?
And what I found is that when you're going up a steep incline, that you're supposed to stand up. And it's like, OK. Yeah, we all get that, we're supposed to stand when we're riding because more power to our pedals. But what I found out this, that you're also supposed to stand up and lean in over the top of your handlebars. And this article went on to say that when you stand up and when you lean in over the top of your handlebars, when you put the majority of your weight at the front of the bicycle, it actually gives your legs more power with every stride that you push on those pedals.
And I found, I bring this up not just because I like bicycling, but I've found that this is true of Bible study as well. Whenever we're in a church environment, whenever we're in a Bible study environment, we get the absolute most out of it-- not necessarily when we're standing, but when we're leaning in.
When we're leaning in with anticipation and expectation that the God of the universe, that the God that sent His Son to die for you and for me, that He has something to say to you tonight. He has something to say to me tonight. So with that in mind, would you join me in prayer as we get into God's word?
Father, we want to lean in tonight. We want to anticipate that You do, in fact, have something for us as a congregation, and as individuals. And so, Father, I ask for open ears. I ask that my ears would be open as well as I hear Your word proclaimed. Father, I ask that we would walk away through these doors at the end of the night, not just hearers of the word, but doers also. And we pray these things in Jesus' name, Amen.
Did you guys hear that SkyMall almost closed down last year? It was shocking. SkyMall opened in 1990 and it had a good 23, 24, 25 year run. And they were getting ready to shut their doors. They were going to go bankrupt. And in fact they declared bankruptcy. And the only reason that they didn't shut down is because somebody bought them out. Another company bought them out, called CNA marketing based out of New Jersey.
And some of you might be well what is SkyMall and why do we care about SkyMall? SkyMall is the first 10 minutes of your in-flight entertainment. Because when you're taking off in a plane, you're not allowed to use your electronic devices because they're going to interfere with the navigation and the plane might go down. And it's going to be a horrendous thing all because you're on your phone. And so you grab that magazine, SkyMall, that's in the seat pocket in front of you, right next to the landing instructions and all of that as well.
And SkyMall is not just any magazine that has things to sell, they don't sell things that you could find at Target or at Wal-mart. They sell the most bizarre and strange items you could come across. And if you're unaware, you've never flipped through a SkyMall, I brought three images to show some of these items. Some of these items, what they are.
The first thing is a six foot life size yeti. I don't know if I could say life-size, because is there such thing as yetis? But if there is, I imagine it would be that size about six feet tall. And it can be yours for the incredibly low price of $2,836.37. Fantastic. Who doesn't need a yeti for their garden, right? Well if you don't make enough, like I don't make enough to buy a yeti and feel innocent about it, but you still need something to adorn your garden in the backyard, don't worry SkyMall's got a few other things for you.
We've got a tombstone for Sassy. The problem is that it's so depressing that nobody would want to put that in their garden. But in case you're a cat person, you're like yeah, Sassy went to heaven. She went to a greater place. Like spoiler alert, no she doesn't, she didn't have a soul, but you can still have that tombstone in your garden.
Mat, I'm not a cat person. I'm more into the canines. I like dogs. I like when those dogs come home, and they're not all mad at you, and they're not knocking things off the counter. But they're just happy. And they're wagging their tails. And they're licking my face. Hey, April is coming which means there's going to be a lot of snow soon. And you want to make sure that you keep Shadow nice and dry. So we've got the dogbrella for you.
Dogbrella, gotta keep Shadow-- yes that was a Homeward Bound reference, Sassy, Shadow. Apparently I'm the only one that loved Homeward Bound.
I came across an item not that long ago that absolutely belongs in a SkyMall magazine. It is called the ostrich pillow. And it's not because it's shaped like an ostrich, as you can see, but what you're supposed to do with this pillow, that blue part used-- that's where you slide your head in. You put your head in the bottom of that pillow. You've got two holes on the very top, so that you can slide your hands in. And then, of course, you need to breathe, so they thought of that as well.
I guess the original test where they didn't have that mouthpiece, they didn't end well. And so they had to add that. That was the second model. The ostrich pillow. And the idea is that if you're hanging out with your friends and you're just like, yeah I need to catch some zzzs. I don't want to hang out with you guys anymore. I just need to put this ostrich pillow on then I can fall asleep right there.
Or, if you're at work and it is kind of not a super busy day, you can slide that ostrich pillow on and camp out right in front of your iMac. Or if grocery shopping-- this has never happened to me, but maybe it has for you-- if grocery shopping gets too exhausting, crawl inside the car, put your ostrich pillow on, ignore the reality around you, and sleep comfortably. They didn't pay me to talk about this ostrich pillow, by the way.
But the reason they call this an ostrich pillows because ostrich's are known for burying their heads in the sand, right? They put their head in the sand and so we've come up with an idiom that says, don't bury your head in the sand, don't be an ostrich. And I think that that's going to be the message for tonight. Don't be an ostrich. Don't bury your head in the sand, or even furthermore, get your head out of the grave.
"Get your head out of the grave." I'm talking figuratively, of course. However, if literally your head is in a grave, you should probably pull that out as well. But we're talking about your thought life.
There was a study done by PhD Bruce Davis. I found it in a Huffington Post. And he says that you and I think some 50,000 to 70,000 thinks a day. How many thinks can one think in a day? 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts in a day. That, my friends is a lot of thinking.
So upon hearing this, upon finding out this, I started to think, what do I think about? What kind of thoughts do I have? A thought within a thought, is this Inception status? What's going on here?
I started evaluating, and taking inventory of the kind of thoughts that I have. And I'm ashamed to say that too many of the thoughts that I have really aren't things that I should be thinking about. And that oftentimes the things that I should be thinking about, the things that I wished that I thought about, I don't think about that often?
Well how do you spend, what do you do with your 50,000 thoughts a day? You can turn to Colossians 3. We're going to be looking at verses 1 through 4. We'll start off reading the whole thing, then we'll piece it apart as the night goes on.
Colossians 3:1-4. "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. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."
We're going to look at the first verse again and that's where we find our first point tonight. Our first point is crave His reign. Crave His reign. Verse 1, "If then, you were raised with Christ, seek--" everybody say that, seek. "If then, you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God." When we look at that word "seek" in the Greek. Ooh, rhyming all the timing. I didn't even plan it.
When we look at that word in the Greek, it carries the idea, it's more emphasized than just to look at something, more emphasized than just a glance for something. The idea is to relentlessly pursue, to relentlessly search for something. To make this object your very aim, to crave it.
My wife is pregnant. We're expecting our first in July of 2016.
She's looking more and more beautiful every day, glowing. I walked in the room and she's PAH and I was, I need sunglasses, I can't. Pregnancy glow. OK. Lame joke, I know I'm sorry. With pregnancy comes a lot of interesting things. One of them, that we've discovered is cravings. I had never seen anybody eat applesauce and pickles from the same plate before. And she'll remind me that it wasn't in the same bite. But applesauce and pickles on the same plate, still a pretty odd craving. But she's got to have the applesauce. I must have the pickles, now.
A few days ago it was Oreos, though. And I asked her if I could share these things. And yeah I guess you can tell everyone I like Oreos. But a few days ago it was Oreos. So we went and I ran to the gas station I bought like the slim pack of Oreos. And at the end of the day, after she was done with them, and I had a few there were three left.
And I made the mistake yesterday of eating the last three. And I found out pretty quick, it wasn't a good idea for me to eat the last three Oreos in the pack. She was craving it. Her body had to have those Oreos, the delicious chocolate, the inner filling that was amazing, double stuffed. I've got to have those. So her craving inspired me to action. Her desire for something led me to say, OK. I'm going to go do something about this. I'm going to drive to Target and we're going to get some Oreos.
Her craving inspired me to action. And I want us to think that way when we hear this word seek. That she had to have it. And so her and her husband, they drove in the car, and they made sure they could go get it. And this word seek, is also used in Matthew 13 of a man, a merchant, who finds a pearl of a significant value, a pearl of great price. And he finds it and he sees it. And he seeks for it. And he gets rid of everything else that he owns in order to obtain that pearl.
That's more than just looking for something. That is craving something. So what is it that we are to crave? What is it that we are to set our sights on? Verse 1 tells us. He says "seek those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God."
Question. Where is Christ sitting at the right hand of God? Where is that? What place is that?
Yes. That would be heaven, that would be a place that we call heaven where Christ is on His throne sitting at the right hand of God. So number one, we could conclude that Paul is saying set your mind on the things above. Set your mind on the things of heaven.
But secondly, what does sitting at the right hand of God signify? It signifies that Christ has all authority, that He is sovereign, that He is King. And so, the things that we are to seek, the things that you and I are to crave, as Christians, are heaven and Christ's authority. We are to crave His reign. We are to crave Him reigning in this earth.
And we are, as Christians, to crave His reign in our lives, His authority over ours. So we should be craving His reign. And we should have our hearts towards heaven, our homeland. And you wait a minute Mat, our homeland. I live in Vista Del Norte, heaven's not my homeland. I wish it was, but I'm over here. I'm like in Tanauan it's kind of close to heaven, but not really. Like I'm in the south valley, I'm not in heaven, right?
What are we talking about our homeland is heaven? Look at the first words in this verse. "If you then you were raised with Christ." "If then, you were raised with Christ." In that case, then you should crave the King and His reign. But he starts with these two words if then and those words could better be translated "since." "Since you were raised with Christ, crave His reign." Since.
What Paul is pointing out is that the logical conclusion to us having been raised to a newness of life with Christ is that we want to be where our Savior is. The logical conclusion to us having been raised, a resurrected life, with Christ is that we would want to be with our Christ.
The idea that he's introducing here through talking about this raised life is this idea of citizenship. Citizenship. Three years ago, I lived in Arizona. I lived in Tempe. And I carried around, in my wallet, an Arizona driver's license. And then when I moved back to New Mexico, I went to the MVD, MVD Express, it's worth the extra 15 bucks-- no I'm not getting paid for that either, but let me bless your life. Do not spend three hours over on San Mateo, go to the MVD Express Eubank and Montgomery. You'll be happy you did. MVD Express. When I moved back to New Mexico, I did away with my Arizona driver's license and I got a New Mexico driver's license.
And you know where my taxes went this year? They went to New Mexico. They didn't go to Arizona. And why is that? It's because my citizenship, my statehood citizenship, has been transferred. I am a resident. I am a citizen of New Mexico, now, and ultimately of the United States, and ultimately, ultimately of heaven. Right?
Believer, Christian, when you placed your faith in Jesus, you were born again. And when you were born again, you were granted a new citizenship where you didn't have to belong to the world anymore, but you were made a citizen of heaven. And that is why Jesus was able to pray to His Father. "They are not of the world just as I am not of the world." And that is why Paul was able to write "For our citizenship is in heaven from which we all so eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." "Our citizenship is in heaven from which we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Has anybody ever gone on too long of a camping trip? I remember the longest camping trip I ever went on I was probably 12. And we went for two weeks. I don't know where it was. It was my family and another family. We went up to maybe Colorado and we spent two weeks in the woods. And man, the anticipation, I knew this trip was coming for several months. And I was so excited for it. And like, oh man, we're going to go fishing. We're going to build fires. We're going to eat subpar food, but it's going to be OK, because we're going to love it, we going to be out doors and it's going to be fantastic.
About a week into the trip, everybody smelled terrible. My back was aching because I had been sleeping on the ground. Yeah, any of you that go glamping with the RV, we're not talking about that. Get that RV out of here, that is not camping. But a week into this camping trip, after eating like hot dogs every day every meal, you could bet that I was craving my home. I was craving. I desired so long, man I'm having fun out here, but oh just a sleep on my mattress. Oh man, I'm having a great time out here, but man, just to get in a hot shower for like four hours straight.
I was craving my homeland. And I think it's good when you and I feel uncomfortable in this world. I think it's good when you and I, we start to feel the aches and the pains of this earth. Because it reminds us this isn't home. I'm just a pilgrim. I'm a temporary resident. I'm traveling through. This isn't home. I'm a citizen of heaven. I was made for another place. This isn't home.
If that's the case, shouldn't we make every effort to tell the other travelers in our campsite that they don't have to-- that there is a more permanent place, that there is a more real place, that there is a heavenly place. That there is a place where they can rest easy in paradise with God. Shouldn't we make every effort with every opportunity that we have to tell other travelers in our campsite, this campsite, this doesn't have to be home. And it's not final. It's temporary. But that's kind of a side note.
So how do we begin to crave His reign? How do we begin to crave our home? And this is our second point. The same way that any company's going to get you to crave their product. You run the ads. You run the ads.
You know why all of us were eating Doritos the week after the Super Bowl? Because they had hilarious ads. And they kept putting Doritos in front of us. And people were eating the Doritos and they were fantastic. You know why I'm considering buying a Prius right now? Because Toyota knows how to run the ads. They know how to put their product in front of my eyes and make me think oh man like that Prius it's silent, it's a good getaway car, maybe I could potentially-- no I'm not planning anything. I didn't say that.
The reason that we crave a McRib sandwich which none of us ever should, but the reason that we do is because we see a McRib sandwich on a billboard. I was scrolling through my Instagram this morning. And of course, it was like oh there's somebody's cat, oh this is the coffee that somebody drink, oh nice scenery picture, OK. Somebody's baby, cat, coffee, scenery, baby, cat, coffee, scenery, baby-- Wendy's double cheeseburger with bacon. Why are you in my Instagram feed? It was because Wendy's paid the money to run the ads, put their burger in front of my eyes, so that maybe later tonight after the service is over, I go to what Wendy's on a Wednesday, and I enjoy a double bacon cheeseburger. They ran the ads and I begin craving it.
So if we're supposed to crave His reign, if we're supposed to seek His sovereignty in our life, if we're supposed to surrender to Him as our King, and if we're supposed to be excited about our homeland, and have our hearts pointed towards heaven, we need to put product placement before our eyes. Look at verse 2. Paul writes "Set your mind on things above. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth."
It's important that we first acknowledge and recognize that the word "set" here could be translated keep setting, continually set, every day set your mind on the things above. It's not just, oh well I set my mind on heaven once. I set my mind on Christ's rule once, He says, no keep setting it every single day. Why is that? It is because we're ADD. Hey, aren't these lights pretty cool?
We get so easily distracted. He says keep setting your mind on things above. Keep putting these before your eyes, these truths before your eyes, or else you'll quickly forget them. J.B. Lightfoot said concerning this verse, he said "You must not only seek heaven, you must also think heaven." And some of us hear that, and maybe you have been raised in the Church-- if you've been raised in this Church, you should know the heaven is not boring-- but maybe you've been raised to think like, oh man like heaven is this place with naked baby angels, and clouds, and harps, and like we're all wearing matching robes, and it's just going to-- I don't know. It doesn't really sound that great to me.
I remember having that thought as a six-year-old. And I was like having a midlife crisis like, oh my gosh, like I can't handle this, like singing forever and ever and ever and ever? Like this is the song that never ends, like that's what I thought heaven was going to be like. And I that's not a place that I want to be. And you're in your mind like this is the song that never ends. You're welcome for that.
But that's what I had in my mind. I can't comprehend eternal singing. I can't, I don't want to be in this place that actually kind of sounds a little boring. But let me say this, that that is not the heaven or the new earth that the Bible talks about. That is not the heaven, that is not the eternity, that is not the kingdom, that is not the time that we get with God that our Bible talks about. Our Bible says that in His presence is fullness of joy. I don't know if you've ever experienced fullness of joy before, but I know that I am looking forward to it, being in His presence, face-to-face fullness, lacking nothing, fullness of joy.
Revelation 21 paints this picture. It says that the streets, "where streets are pure gold, clear as glass." Revelation 22 "a pure river is going to be there, clean as crystal." I love camping. I love the outdoors. I love REI, sign me up for Eddie Bauer, signed me up for like Polar and every outdoors thing there is. The new heavens, the new earth is this place that God has created for us. It is every REI fanatic's dream. Is going to be a place where you can explore. It's going to be a place where you can discover new things, and where it's like Eden except without the curse.
C.S. Lewis wrote this in the Last Battle which is one of his books in the Narnia series. And he's describing some of the characters coming into Aslan's country, which we could compare maybe to the new heavens and the new earth, this place that God has gone to prepare for us. And one of the characters exclaims this, she says "those hills, The nice woody ones and the blue ones behind. Aren't they very like the southern border of Narnia? And yet they're not alike. They're different. They have more colors on them. And they look further away than I remembered. And they're more, more, oh I don't know."
And then another creature exclaims "more like the real thing. I have come home at last. This is my real country. I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we love the old Narnia--" which we could say earth-- "the reason why we love the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Come further up come. Come further in."
See this place that our God is preparing for us, this place where we get to enjoy eternity with Him forever, it is everything that we love about the earth except without the curse. It's a real place. It's a place where we get to enjoy the things that God's made us to enjoy, except without the pain. It's a place that has no dentists, no doctors, and no lawyers. Now if you're a dentist, a doctor, and a lawyer, you're invited but we don't need your services.
C.S. Lewis also said "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at Earth, and you will get neither." Which actually reminds me of something that Jesus said. He said "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." Allelu, Allelu, Allelu, Allelujah.
Our third and our final point tonight is don't preoccupy with what will perish. Don't preoccupy with what will perish. And this comes to us from the second half of the second verse. He's just finished saying "set your mind on things above, not on the things of the earth."
And this is important that Paul points this out because sometimes the earth is attractive. Sometimes the systems of this world are attractive. And so it's easy to get distracted. Has anybody ever heard of click bait? Click bait, only like few of us, right? Click bait, I was told about this a little while back. And click bait is something that you find on Facebook a lot. Click bait is something you find on the internet, where there's a heading that leads you in. It draws you in. I must read this article, which is really just a list of pictures. And then I spend three hours so--
So let me give you an example of some click bait that I got stuck on recently. One of the headings was titled "51 of the Most Amazing Bedrooms Ever Constructed." And it's like I'm going about my day and then I see that "51 of the Most Amazing Bedrooms" that have ever been constructed? I've got to click that. And so I click that. And then there's that one picture and then I click Next, and another picture. And I do that 50 times over and I've spent so much time on Buzzfeed. Too much time on Buzzfeed.
Here's another one "31 of the Most Bizarrely Hilarious Russian Photos." Way to be very oddly specific. "31 of the Most Bizarrely Hilarious Russian Photos." There is absolutely zero reason that I need to look at 31 of the most bizarrely hilarious Russian photos. There is zero reason why I need that in my life. Click bait. I find myself clicking through that. And then that leads to another, and that leads to another one. I'm just thinking like how am I wasting my day on this? Because it's so easy to get distracted.
Paul says "set your mind on things above, don't set your mind on the things of the earth." There are very real click baits in our lives aren't there? There are so many things that can very easily distract us from the calling, the purpose that God has put within us. There are click baits in this life. Maybe it's an insatiable desire to have more. And Pinterest doesn't really help with that does it? I've remodeled this room, now I've got to remodel this room, now I've got to remodel that other room again. I've got to have more, I've got to have more, I've got to have more. And we need to learn to say I have enough.
Maybe the click bait in your life isn't material, it's not money. Maybe the click bait in your life is a desire, a longing, for a higher social status, a higher position at work where you can be recognized and everybody can know man that's the guy. He's the one that we all want to be like. Maybe what you're after is more likes on your Facebook photos or your Instagram pictures. Maybe what you're after is this desire and you have to be loved by everybody, and so you spend your whole life trying to be lovable.
Can I just tell you, you don't have to try. There is a God in heaven. He loves you so much more than anybody on this earth ever will and ever could.
It's easy to get distracted. And let me just make sure that I communicate this with clarity. I don't want to come off as a legalist and say, hey if you're remodeling your home, then you're not a Christian, you're a distraction, you're not living your life for Christ. None of these things that we've talked about are necessarily evil in themselves, but but a good thing when it replaces the best thing, it can become a bad thing. A good thing in our life, ministry, can become a click bait. It can be something that distracts us from actually loving, and serving, and getting to know the Lord because maybe we're doing it to be seen by others.
And so a good thing when it replaces the best thing, Jesus, it becomes a bad thing. So don't let these things, don't let the things on Earth waste your time because they will steal the significance from your life. Don't become preoccupied with things that perish. And Peter talks about this, 1 Peter 1:24. He says, "All flesh is as grass. And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers and its flower falls away. But the word of the Lord, that's what endures forever."
So many things that we put our hope in in this life are really just going to fade away. So many things that we invest all of our time in, in these lives are really just going to fade away. Like that old shirt that we used to love and now it's like, oh it's just got holes in it everywhere and so I can't even wear it because my wife won't let me take it out of the house. I'm not speaking from personal experience, at all. But there are things that we love so much. And isn't that the case that everything on this earth is simply going to fade away?
And so how logical is it for us to put all of our hope, all of our time, to invest all of our resources in these things that are going to fade away? I brought one of these guys up here. Does anybody remember Beanie Babies? Fantastic. I hope nobody invested in these hoping to get a good return. I looked this up today online to how much I could get Fetch for-- by the way, this is Fetch. Hello Fetch. Says hello to everybody.
This was my favorite Beanie Baby as a kid. I don't keep it around-- I didn't bring him up here to help me preach good tonight or anything. All right, I got you Fetch. I want to tell you a story about Fetch. And I just so happened to find him in my garage, in a box in my garage this last week. When I was like 6 years old, I loved Fetch. I loved the Beanie Babies. I had all kinds of them, but Fetch especially.
He spent the night with me every night in my bed. And I remember one night, I was laying in my bed and I looked over at Fetch and I just thought, man I hope I get to take that guy to heaven. Like he's going to love running around on the golden streets with me, he's going to be drinking out of the rivers that are all clear like water, clear like crystal. It's going to be fantastic.
And so the next morning, I woke up and I talked to my mom. I was like mom, do you think I can take Fetch to heaven with me? She says, absolutely not. He doesn't have a soul. He's not going with you. And you're getting enrolled in counseling. Fair enough. She didn't enroll me in counseling, that part was a joke. But everything else, I really wanted this little Beanie Baby stuffed with beans to spend eternity with me.
And I think what if we focused, what if we focused with that kind of intensity, with that kind of a craving, with that kind of a desire, what if we focused our energy on the one thing that we can take to heaven with us? People. What if we invested our resources? What if we invested our time? What if we gave above and beyond to say this place is going to be preaching the gospel and those people can hear the gospel. And they can spend eternity with God in paradise in heaven? That's something that I want to invest in.
What if we spent our time-- maybe it's like two less binge shows of Netflix a day or a week-- and we say, hey that time? I'm going to spend that time in the work, putting heaven before my eyes, putting the character of Christ before my eyes, having a daily quiet time. Making sure that I'm investing in the things that matter, making sure that I invest in the things that endure the word of God and people.
What if we spent our time as a church? What if we spend our free time as individuals making sure that we were sharing the gospel with maybe one person a week? I think that's pretty easy. There's 168 hours in a week, or something like that. I did not do my math right now. So if you've got a calculator on me, or on you-- if you've got a calculator on me, then we've really got a problem-- if you've got a calculator on you just bypass that. There are so many hours in a week I think that we can spend a few of them on seeing others come to Christ, On communicating the one thing that matters most. I love that song Simple Pursuit. It says "you're the only thing that matters, nothing and no one could ever come close, nothing and no one could ever compare."
So question. Are you more preoccupied with heaven's work or earth's concerns? Are you more preoccupied with heaven's work on this earth or are you preoccupied with Earth's concerns? Listen. If the most exciting thing happening in your week is catching up on the latest TV show, something is wrong. If the most thrilling part of your week is catching up on your favorite TV show, you are being cheated and robbed from the calling that God has put on your life.
You're a citizen of heaven if you're a believer. You're promised paradise. You're filled with purpose. Are we living that way? Or are we buying in for the click bait?
In the last two verses, verse 3 and 4, we're going to see three reasons that we should have our hearts towards heaven. Three reasons that we should crave His reign. And they deal with our past, our present, and our future. Verse 3, the first three words "for you died." Thanks a lot, Paul, like what an encouraging message. I'm going to go to church today, I'm going to see what Paul has to say. Paul says "for you died." "Set your mind on the things above, not on things on the earth. For you died."
That has to do with our past as Christians. And at a first glance, it's like Paul. This is kind of offensive. What are you talking about like I'm dead? What are you talking about? Like I think that I've got a pulse. I don't know. I don't know how to check, I'm not a nurse, but I think I'm breathing right now. I think my heart is pumping blood. But that's not what he's talking about. He's talking about the same thing he was talking about in Galatians 2:20 when he said "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life which I now live in this flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me."
He is saying that your old self, if you are a believer, if you are a Christian, if you've placed your faith in Jesus, your old self is dead. That person you were before you came to Christ, that person is gone. The desires that you fulfill, the desires that you were always striving for? That person, he's dead. Your old self, the one that belonged to this world, the one that was a citizen of this world, the one that served the systems of this world, that one is dead.
I got a coupon in the mail today. It was from Lowe's. You know the home improvement store, Lowe's? And it was really a brilliant line that they put on the front of this coupon. It said "this house is perfect. Let's change it." I thought to myself, man Lowe's understands us, don't they? Like Lowe's gets me. Like I see something that's like fantastic, yeah, but it probably could be better right, Kim, like let's change it. Let's change the color of it, let's do this, let's do that, let's do it.
And let me just tell you this, that when we spend all of our life trying to fix up this earth, all we're doing is spicing up our cemetery. We're trying to make it look good, but all we're doing is we're making our gravesite look good. Investing all of our energy in the things that are going to perish, we're just spicing up the cemetery, because we've died to that old man. We've been risen to newness of life, in Christ. So let's start investing in eternity. Let's put our money, our time, our resources where they'll have a good return.
The second thing that we see has to do with our present. Right after he says "for you died," he says "your life is hidden with Christ, your life is hidden with Christ in God. Presently Christian, your life is hidden with Christ and God. Now that sounds nice and Christian that's like oh man, we should tweet that. That is a beautiful statement. What in the world does it mean?
I want you to think of a safety deposit box. You're going on that two week camping trip, but you've got a bunch of goods at your house that you don't want anybody else to get their hands on. And so what do you do with those? You take those to a safety deposit box. maybe you don't have a safety deposit box at your house or at the bank, and so you decide I'm going to hide those things. I'm going to keep them safe. I'm going to go put them in-- I'm not going to tell you where I keep all my stuff. I was about to tell you where I keep all my stuff, but I don't know all of you. But you hide those things. So that they can be kept safe.
Believer, you are hidden with Christ. And because of the punishment that He endured on the cross, you get to be sealed and secure until the day of salvation. That you are safe in Him. And if you and I are safe in Him, if we are hidden in Him, shouldn't that give us confidence to live our lives toward eternity? Shouldn't that give us confidence that man I'm set, I can take a few risks. I can set aside a little bit of time to do ministry, I can set a little bit of time aside to share the gospel with others, because I've got nothing to lose, I've got everything to gain. And I've got everything already because I'm hidden in Christ, I'm safe, I'm sealed, I'm secure.
The last thing that we'll see-- and we'll start to shut this thing down-- the third reason that we should get our head out of the grave and we should start craving His reign it is that we will appear with Him in glory. Let's read all of verse 4 "when Christ, who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." And this has to do with our future.
We talked about aching bodies a little while back. We talked about how, man when we go camping, my body, my back, it just hurts. And I feel like I got to always get cracked by a chiropractor and it's just like I'm in pain. Did you know that your promise that that's not going to be the case forever? Your promise that when Christ comes back, that when He appears, that we're going to appear with Him in glorified bodies? That Paul said that Christ is going to transform these lowly bodies into a new, into a glorified body, that they will be conformed to His glorious body,
And that's why Paul is able to say in Romans 8 that our present sufferings, the things that you and I are going through now, our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. So let's allow what He did yesterday and who He's making us tomorrow inspire the way that you and I live today. Yesterday, we died to our old self and we were raised into a new body. We were given a new citizenship. Tomorrow, we will be glorified with Him. And today, we are hidden in Him.
So let us live and think towards eternity.
Let's pray. Father, I thank You so much for these truths. Father, I thank You that I'm not going to be in this body for all of eternity, that You are going to set me in a body like the one You had after the Resurrection. Father, I thank You that You've given us a hope, that You've given us a homeland. And Lord, I ask that we would live with that in our minds. Father, I ask that You would lead us as a church to ever be mindful of the promises that You've given us, and to ever be mindful of the place of authority that You hold.
And God, I pray for those who are hurting in here, that they will find hope because of these things. Father, I pray for those who are suffering in here. For those, in here, that feel like it's just one thing after another. As soon as one thing maybe gets resolved, another chaos happens in their life. Father, I ask that You will help them to cling to Your character and cling to the fact that You are reigning and that You are sovereign. And that You have this world, our universe, in the span of Your hand. And so Father, we look to You. And we ask that You would incite us, that You would inspire us to action.
And Father, I ask that as a result of this church being in this city, that the city will look different. And I thank You that that is a truth today. That this city does look different because of this church. I asked that will only continue and grow, and grow, and grow. We pray these things in Jesus' name, Amen.
What binds us together is devotion to worshipping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying His word, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.