“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus“ (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Oh how great the demands we make to occupy our rightful places here on earth, choice seating in restaurants, front seat of the car, on the bus, trains and airplanes, everyone wants their rightful place. Are we demanding of ourselves and others the things we must to be “seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus?” I see daily the demands are far less. How few Christians are there who make it a personal experience! How few indeed think it is possible for them to sit in these “heavenly places.”
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). We have been raised up with Christ and should seek the things above. It is possible to be one place physically and another place mentally. It happens every Sunday morning in churches around the world. Bodies warm the pews while minds roam the kitchens, golf courses and shopping malls of the nations. In a less pleasant example, military prisoners of war survive by taking themselves mentally into another world away from the prison and there find meaning and solace. We, as Christians, are to do the same. We are to take our-selves out of the physical world, into the spiritual world, and behave according to its values, truths, and realities. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
Today is January 13, 2012, the end of the second week of the New Year and the resolutions are fresh in our minds. The need to express our resolve, commitment to action, is generally driven by recognition of a failing, obstacle or shortcoming that we wish to overcome. Christians of every make and model would be well-served to heed the Apostle Paul’s urging in these verses. We are asked to resolve, to seek our rightful place in the heavenly places, it is where God wants you to be, with Him and His Son Jesus Our Christ. Is that asking too much of believers in the New Year?
“That in ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). An honest review of 2011 will clearly show that God, by His grace, has been kinder to us than we deserve. This year resolve to do more for Him, offer yourself not so much for you, but for the benefit of others. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth, ask God to help you to do what you have been charged to do in this life. “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Ephesians 2:16).
There is no fussing, arguing or compulsion, but simply and directly—if you want to be seated with Jesus you must be devoted to Jesus, this is your reasonable service. As we go about our daily lives in 2012 we know many have seen the cross and profess a belief in its power, but not all have come to the cross. When you come to the cross, it is a profound experience that transforms people’s lives forever. If you can change what you think of the heavenly places, the renewing of your mind, you can change aspirations to be seated in them. The cross, changes us and others, making us heirs with Jesus to our seat in the heavenly places.
In a world so full of turmoil and sin many may believe perhaps that to pay a little visit to one of these heavenly places on Sundays or now and then is within reason; but to actually be “seated” there every day and all day long is altogether another matter. Yet it is clear it is God’s will and wish for us to be seated there on Sundays, week-days and eternally. 2012 provides an opportunity for each of us to seek our rightful place by devoting ourselves to the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Consequently, “we may prove” ourselves worthy to sit with him, together in the heavenly places. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Seated In Heavenly Places (mannaforliving.wordpress.com)
- To the spiritually in need . (brusharbors.wordpress.com)