Renewed Focus

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I learned a MASSIVE lesson about myself at the grocery store last night: If I were an Israelite and the first time God sent down manna, I would have received Moses’s ire for hoarding (Ex 16:16-20). This is humbling and heartbreaking to me. Looking at the rows and rows of empty shelves last night created a panic in me that I never knew could exist.

I also learned that whenever God decides is the right time for the events in Revelation to occur, it is going to happen QUICKLY! Even quicker than what is happening now. I do believe what we are currently witnessing and experiencing is a foreshadow of what is to come. We need to be prepared; however, we need not panic!

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. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Col 3:1-4 NIV).

Colossians 3 was my Bible reading for today and I am SO thankful that it was. Set in verses 1 and 2 are imperatives. In Greek heart (v 1) is inserted by the NIV translators and it rightly deserves to be there. Our basic desires stem from the heart. Paul commands us to set our hearts and desires on the things above. To me this means “Desire Christ!”

Paul references Psalm 110:1 when he says, “Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” In both the OT and NT times being seated at the right hand of the king meant power, honor, privilege and the right to act on the king’s behalf. God’s right hand is portrayed as a place of power, victory and favor.  Jesus’s being seated expresses His completion of His assigned task. Jesus is the only One who could be referenced in Psalm 110 and is the only One who could ever fill that seat.

This is why Paul also commands that we set our minds on things above. Minds is more than our thinking, it is our values. What we value and love is to be centered on the rule of Christ. We are to call people to Christ and life and away from earthly things that will perish. Christ does not just provide for us in this life, He IS our life.

As Christ is hidden from the world, so too is the believer hidden in Christ. When Christ is revealed to the world, so will we as believers. While we need to be prepared in our current situation, we need not panic. We need not roam around as a people without hope. We are called and purposed to bring God glory both in this life and in eternity. May we glorify God in how we respond to all that is happening in our world today.

It is SO easy for me to focus on the here and now. These verses remind that life begins and ends in Christ. We need to partner with Christ in being prepared; however, at some point we have to come to a place where we declare with David, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Ps 23:1).

I have always wondered how strong my desire would be to survive if I were ever put in that situation. Now I know. Jesus’s response to Satan applies to me as well, “‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matt 4:4). For the believer and the unbeliever, please, seek Jesus while there is still time!

Father God, thank You that for resetting my heart and mind on You! Lord God, may we desire You and live for You while there is still time. Lord God, thank You that no quarantine will EVER stop Your Word! Lord God, I ask that You prepare us for all that You have for us. May we reflect on Your past workings in our lives so that we may face the present in confidence and trust. Lord God, thank You for this reader. Lord God, I ask that You will keep this reader’s gaze and focus on You. Lord God, may we be agents of peace, faith, hope and love in this time. Lord God, may we NEVER forget that Christ IS our life. Without Christ we are nothing and have nothing. Thank You Jesus! Amen.

 

Published by

Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

26 thoughts on “Renewed Focus”

  1. Wonderful and enlightened post, Mandy, and filled with truth. Our focus needs to be above in all circumstances. As you wrote: “It is SO easy for me to focus on the here and now. These verses remind that life begins and ends in Christ. We need to partner with Christ in being prepared; however, at some point we have to come to a place where we declare with David, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Ps 23:1).”

    Amen, Mandy. Keep forging on for sake of Christ!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, David!!!!! Thank you for your encouragement! David, I have really appreciated your posts on keeping calm and understanding/processing current events through a Biblical lens. I am a slow learner apparently, and I cannot tell you how much MORE I love and appreciate your posts! Praying for you as live and write for Christ! Love and blessings!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article. Good insight marycatesauthor.com

    On Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 10:15 AM Blue Collar Theologian wrote:

    > Blue Collar Theologian posted: ” I learned a MASSIVE lesson about myself > at the grocery store last night: If I were an Israelite and the first time > God sent down manna, I would have received Moses’s ire for hoarding (Ex > 16:16-20). This is humbling and heartbreaking to me. Looking at th” >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My go to verse is based on Ps. 112:7-8 “I do not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen, because I am settled in my mind that Jehovah will take care of me, that is why I am not afraid…”
    Because it boils down to three basic scenarios. 1. I don’t catch it. 2. I catch it and survive. 3. I catch it, die and am with Jesus for eternity. I’m good with whatever choice God has planned for me. (I prefer option 3 myself!) So I need to live showing no fear to non-believers, because maybe I can snag a few of them over to our side in this situation!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “This is why Paul also commands that we set our minds on things above. Minds is more than our thinking, it is our values.” So many important points here, this captures so much of it for me.
    Wonderful post Mandy, appreciate the insight and encouragement! Press on sister! 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much Mandy! We’re fine in NYC, it is eerie to see the city shut down… wow, what power in a microscopic speck!
        May the Lord continue to inspire and lead us all! 🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Lisa Beth! I have been in NYC a lot (2 hrs by train) and I cannot imagine how much more eerie it is to see the city so empty/shut down in person! The pictures and images on the news are staggering enough! I agree wholeheartedly, “May the Lord continue to inspire and lead us all!” Love and blessings!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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