Since, then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (3 Col 1-2).
The Apostle Paul exhorts his readers to set their hearts and minds on Christ. Not on earthly desires, not on this world and what it offers, rather on Christ and what He offers.
How often we are told to love this life and this world – yet the Apostle John writes – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn 2:15). Alternative propositions jostle for our souls. Love Life! Inventive marketing slogans infiltrate our minds. Christ’s message, however, stands in stark contrast – “they did not love their lives so much as to shrink back from death” (Rev 12:11). In this context Jesus refers to the martyrs who gladly forfeit their lives rather than denying Christ. Followers, who in losing their lives for Christ, are among the first to receive eternal life (1 Thess 4:16).
Deny this existence, take up your cross and follow Christ. Set your heart and your mind on Him, not on earthly things. This is the message of Christ. It is the message He lived.
As Paul surveys the landscape he witnesses people led astray by falsities (like sheep without a shepherd) their lives are exploited in the pursuit of worldly success, the love of money or living primarily for pleasure. This is not following Christ. This is following the world.
As millions lay dying of starvation – we watch football; the extent of indifference is overwhelming. Scripture tells us in the last days people will have a veneer of Godliness but their hearts will be far from Him. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, fun lovers rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
Demas was a travelling companion of the Apostle Paul (Col. 4:14; Philemon 24). Together they worked, enduring various troubles and persecution, to extend the kingdom of God. This speaks highly of Demas at that point in time, for Paul was very selective and careful with whom he labored for the Lord. This is apparent since he rejected John (also called Mark) for his past unfaithfulness (Acts 15:37-41). However, in Paul’s last letter before his own martyrdom, he informed Timothy of the following change in Demas:
For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica (2 Tim. 4:10,) (Corner, 2000).
Where is your heart and your mind? Are they truly focused on Christ and what Christ wants? Challenging this notion could be the most difficult hurdle of your existence. It is also the most important.
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” – Jesus Christ