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Cross

Christianity

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Loving God Alone

by Dr. George Jacob

The word affection comes from the Greek word phroneo (fron-eh'-o), which means "to exercise the mind, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion, to be mentally disposed more or less earnestly in a certain direction, to interest oneself with concern or obedience, to set your affections on an object." It is the trafficking of the mind. To set our affections on things above, we must stop meditating on temporal things. Where our hearts are, there our conversation is. Whatever is most important to us, whatever our priorities are, is that which traffics our mind. If something is trafficking your mind that indicates that Satan is holding a dialogue with you, flee from him! "Set your affection on things above."

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." COL 3:1-3.

God has endowed the soul with two main faculties: the understanding (whereby we discern, view, and judge things) and the affections (whereby we are inclined toward the things that we perceive and view). We have been given a sound mind, which means that we can understand the difference between right and wrong and can pass judgment. Our affections incline us to do or not do. Our affections control the puppet strings of our hearts, which direct our actions, thoughts, and traffic of the mind.

Webster says the word affection means "the state of being affected; in a general sense: love, hatred, fear, hope, desire, joy, sorrow, and gratitude are affections of the mind." Your affections are more than just love. The mind can be affected by joy, by something that gratifies, by hatred, and by fear. That which we hate has been included in our text as well as that which we love. The things we fear or hope or desire affect our minds as well as love. We are to set our affections, our fears, our hopes, our hatred, love, desires, joys, and sorrows on the things above and not on the earth.

Some people worry their hearts out thinking that someday Russia or another country may take over the United States and make us a communist country. They are setting their affections on things below. If they would fear God, who is able to kill both body and soul, they would not be concerned about what Russia might do. Other people set their affections on things below by enjoying the things of this world, like entertainment or wealth.

Our affections do not pertain to the things that we are indifferent to, but they are our inclinations to like or dislike, approve or disapprove, or accept or reject a thing. Setting our affections on things above means that we approve or disapprove or accept or reject the things that go through our minds based on the things that are above.

Our affections incline our minds and wills. They can also be considered the desires of the heart. The Lord says, "Son, give me thine heart." What is your heart set upon? What is more decisive of whether or not you have been risen with Christ than that you have become dead to this world and have been risen unto a newness of life?

True religion, which is to "seek those things which are above...set your affection on things above," consists in vigorous and lively actions through the inclinations of the soul or exercises of the heart. We must examine our hearts for those inclinations. Have we been raised with Christ above the things of this world? Do our hearts still linger after the things of this world? Are we like Lot's wife, looking back over our shoulders because we do not want to give up what lies behind? Where are our affections?

ROM 12:10-11 says, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." What are the desires of our hearts? Do we desire the things that God has commanded us in the law of love? Do we prefer one another above ourselves in brotherly love? Is the desire of our souls to serve the Lord in the law of love, loving God above all and our neighbor as ourselves?

Source: MOSC Forum

See Also:

Belonging to Christ
Labor practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus.

Covenant
The covenant is a treasury of wealth, a granary of food, a fountain of life, a store-house of salvation, a charter of peace, and a haven of joy.

What Jesus Did for Us
A look at what the actions of Jesus meant to us.

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