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Sunday, February 21, 2016
The View from the Mountain - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 21 February Sunday
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above.
Our valley in Idaho can be very cold in the winter. Clouds and fog roll in and blanket the ground, trapping frigid air under warmer layers above. But you can get above the valley. There’s a road nearby that winds up the flank of Shafer Butte, a 7,500-foot mountain that rises out of our valley. A few minutes of driving and you break out of the fog and emerge into the warmth and brilliance of a sunlit day. You can look down on the clouds that shroud the valley below and see it from a different point of view.
Life is like that at times. Circumstances seem to surround us with a fog that sunlight cannot penetrate. Yet faith is the way we get above the valley—the means by which we “set [our] hearts on things above” (Col. 3:1). As we do, the Lord enables us to rise above our circumstances and find courage and calmness for the day. As the apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil. 4:11).
Paul begins this section of his letter to the church at Philippi with the Greek word loipon(finally), signaling that this is his conclusion to the subject he’s been dealing with. In previous verses the apostle has been urging his readers to live lives that are free from anxiety and quarreling. Their interactions with one another are to be marked by prayer, thankfulness, gentleness, unity, and peace. But his final word in this section goes beyond outward behavior. It deals with attitudes of the heart and mind. Ponder heavenly things, he tells them. Think well and deeply about things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.