Lift Your Eyes Heavenward – Week of January 7, 2019

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:1-2

Daniel was adopted after drug and alcohol exposure before he was born. He has brain damage. At age 12, he is beginning to understand some basic Bible concepts. It is a joy to hear him talk about the things he is learning from hearing daily Bible story lessons. He is even asking questions! His brain perseverates which means he gets stuck thinking about the same thing, replaying it over and over in his mind. This is not generally thought of as a positive characteristic of his brain damage, but lately he is perseverating on the thought of going to heaven. He daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes even constantly, repeats the same questions: “Where is heaven? Is heaven in the sky? Who is in heaven? Will we have toys in heaven? Can we come back from heaven? When will I go to heaven?” We have answered his questions repeatedly, but it is so calming and comforting to his brain to repeatedly ask and hear the constant answers about what he is expecting because Jesus is his Savior. “Jesus loves you. He died for you on the cross to take away your sins so that when you die you will live with him forever in heaven. It will be wonderful, and nothing will make us sad.” Upon hearing the comforting words about the wonders of heaven, that he will be there someday with all of the people he knows and loves, and that he will not even need toys while he is there, Daniel literally jumps for joy with a smile on his face every time he hears these answers.

Wouldn’t it be comforting if we could live with a repeated movie reel of heaven in our head? Daniel truly has his thoughts set on things above. With his continuous thoughts on things above, that is where his heart is set also. For us, it takes a little more effort. Our neurology allows us to think about many things throughout the day, even throughout every minute! We have responsibilities – work, spouse, kids, aging parents, financial worries, retirement planning, helping with church and community events, the list is endless. We have more thoughts in our head than our brain can handle processing. Yet, our loving Lord reminds us, “Set your mind on things above.”

How can we keep our hearts and minds on things above? Paul tells us. Remember that you have been raised with Christ. Christ has made you a brand-new person. He has made you a forgiven and living child of God. You have been raised with him.

That puts your day to day preoccupations into perspective. Only one reality is forever. Only one concern is eternal. Set your hearts on such things. As a resurrected child of faith find and take advantage of every opportunity to be in God’s Word and surround yourself with fellow Christians who can encourage and remind you of what is truly lasting and important.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, you have given us a command that brings us peace: thoughts of eternity with you. Help us find ways each day to keep our focus on you and your heavenly mansion that awaits us. Amen

A Question to Consider: When do you get your daily dose of God’s Word? How do you share this focus of things above with your students?

Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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