“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)

Well, here we are at the end of the first month of 2024 – already.  So, if you were someone who made any New Year resolutions, let me ask you – how is that working for you?  I quit making resolutions years ago.  Mainly because I either forgot them or just didn’t do them.  This year I did something different.  I chose one word that I wanted to impact my life in 2024.  After prayer and consideration, I chose the word “release.”  After more prayer and consideration, I then chose areas of my life I needed to release to the Lord.  I also chose some people I needed to release to the Lord.

There are people, things, life events, past circumstances we all need to release to the Lord.  Things that weigh us down.  Things we have been stumbling over for years.  Things that hinder our spiritual growth.  I’m referring to painful and disturbing memories we have held on to far too long.  They could be someone’s unkind words.  They could be painful memories we have kept buried in a sealed box deep in our hearts, until we hold on so tightly to the pain that we can’t seem to let go.  It could be a bitter spirit we have nurtured that has now festered into an oozing wound.  It could be people who walked out of our lives, or perhaps never really made any effort to walk into them.  It could be selfish thoughts that have tormented us until we cannot embrace a full and meaningful life.  It might even be that we need to release someone to Jesus who has already gone home to be with Him.

Deep within each of us there is the possibility of something negative and unhealthy that we cradle, and even nourish, in our restless minds and souls.  Something that needs to be weaned from our past and exterminated from our future.  So just how do we release these people and things that control us?  How do we free ourselves from the past so that it doesn’t control our present – nor weigh us down in our future?  I believe that answer is found in Colossians chapter 3 – “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”  The answer is given to us from above.  It is not an easy answer to keep our minds focused on eternal things, but it is the answer that will wean us from the pain that torments so many of us.  It is the answer we can focus on every day of our lives.

So, will you join me for the remainder of this year, in daily releasing to Christ the memories, circumstances, people that control, torment, and plague us?  Let’s release our wounds and start focusing on the wounds Jesus Christ endured for our spiritual and emotional well-being.  Let’s release making life about us and our feelings and start basking in the feeling of love Jesus Christ has poured out on us.  Let’s start allowing the Holy Spirit to refocus our desires on the word of God, the grace of God, and the mercy of God.  Let’s release all the wasted time talking and thinking about our past and start becoming consumed with our future in Christ.

Please join me this year in releasing whatever, whoever we have given mastery over our hearts and minds.  Together, let’s become consumed with the Christ who died for us, lives in us, and is coming back for us.