Scripture: 3 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. [Colossians 3:1-4 NLT] When I was a kid I loved magicians. There was a guy who would come to my dad’s store and perform for the kids in the children’s department for special events. I would watch him intently to see if I could figure out how he was doing the magic. I would always get at least one of the magic tricks and believe I knew how he did it. Then after the show he would let us come up and see his props. Even after seeing the props close up I couldn’t really figure out what he had done. Whether it was pulling a rabbit out of a hat or a dove out of a metal tin … I couldn’t quite figure it out. Then one Christmas I received a magic set as a gift. I started working on learning the tricks and some of them were the same as the magician I had been watching. It wasn’t until I learned what was really going on that I could attempt to do the trick myself. The above story taught me a valuable life lesson: there is a difference between reality and perception. I would perceive what I thought the magician was doing. In reality the magician was usually doing something else. There are a lot of things in life that are like that. We perceive certain things in life one way, but the reality is very different. One area I see this regularly is in premarital counseling. Sometimes a couple’s perception of what married life will be is very different from reality. Married life is wonderful and can be one of the most rewarding aspects of life. Marriage is also work. If a couple doesn’t know the reality of that before they get married they will soon find out. There is a difference between reality and perception. The Apostle Paul learned this lesson as well. Initially, his perception of those who followed Jesus was that they were heretics and blasphemers. They were perverting the Old Testament laws and dishonoring God. It wasn’t until his Damascus Road experience that Paul saw the reality of Jesus. Jesus was the one who fulfilled the Old Testament law. Jesus was the one who brought real life to those who believed in Him. As we know, Paul’s life was changed when he realized the reality of what it meant to follow Jesus. This is why Paul wrote to the church at Colossae and told them that because Jesus Christ sits at God’s right hand their real life is hidden with Christ in God. One day Christ will come again and we will all be with Him for all of eternity. Until that day, Christ is the one who gives you your real life here and now. Your real life is hidden with Christ Jesus in God. Take some time today to meditate on your life. Is Christ truly your real life? How has your relationship with Jesus Christ transformed your life? Because our real life is hidden with Christ in God, we are to live for Christ. Our reality, like Paul’s, is very different with Christ. What we experience here today is a glimpse of what we will experience with Christ for all eternity. Live into that reality today. Know that your real life is with Christ. Prayer: Holy God, thank you for my real life in Jesus Christ, your Son, my Savior. Help me to see through the perception of life the world around wants me to see. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, empower me to see the real life you have given me today. Amen.