“I marvel that ye are so soon REMOVED FROM HIM that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Galatians 1:6).
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.. 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:7-8, 10).
“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. … When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek” (Psalm 27:4, 8).
In part one of this mini-series of articles we talked about the great danger there is of drifting from Christ. Oh, and how easy it is to drift. We said that the churches in Galatia were not simply drifting from the grace of God; they were actually drifting from the God of grace. These people were replacing their liberty in Christ for a legalism based upon men’s opinions and traditions. They had become infatuated with their teachers, rather than being infatuated with the true Teacher Jesus.
The Christian life was never meant to be about men, ministries, methods, missions, or movements. The Christian life was, is, and always will be about Christ, and Christ alone. Everything and everyone else is secondary at best!
As we mentioned in our previous article, like the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-4), if we are not careful, we can BELIEVE THE RIGHT THINGS, we can even DO THE RIGHT THINGS, and, believe it or not, we can even STAND FOR THE RIGHT THINGS, and yet, still be guilty of having left our first love. Our love for Christ!
Revelation 2:4, Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Not one of us would ever claim that Jesus isn’t prominent, or very important in our lives and ministries. But that’s not the real question. The real questions is this:
Is Jesus pre-eminent (most important) in our lives and our ministries?
Colossians 1:16-18, For BY HIM were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created BY HIM, and FOR HIM: And HE IS BEFORE ALL THINGS, and BY HIM all things consist. And HE IS THE HEAD OF THE BODY, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; THAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREEMINENCE.
The Christian life isn’t about you, it isn’t about me, it isn’t even about us. The Christian life is all about HIM!
If we are not careful, we can allow someone or something (talking about good things now) to become pre-eminent in our lives and ministries. As one author noted:
After all, Christianity is the worship of Jesus Christ. It’s the worship of Jesus Christ exclusively, and it’s the worship of Jesus Christ comprehensively. He alone is worthy; He alone is God; He alone is the infinite sacrifice made for the sins of those who would believe. But it’s comprehensive as well, which means that every part of our being should be engaged in the worship and honor of Jesus. If Jesus is who the Bible says He is, if He did what the Bible says He did, He is worthy of absolute, complete, exclusive, comprehensive attention and focus in our life. … There is a grave danger of mistaking the shadowland of the eclipsed Son of God for the broad daylight that the redeemed were redeemed to enjoy, thinking all along that this treadmill of Christian engagements, polite Christian conversations, and good Christian behavior is the abundant life Jesus came to earth to deliver and declare. It isn’t.
The same author wrote:
Looking for and seeing and gazing at the excellencies, the glories of Jesus leads to greater vision, sharper focus, deeper awareness of Jesus and His permanent abiding presence. It elevates the soul to a higher vantage point of worship. We must learn to stare at the Son of God such that we are blinded to all the allurements of the world! All encumbrances aside, all slack-heartedness aside, everything aside but… Him.
God is looking for a people who will set everything aside [Hebrews 12:1-2] and focus their spiritual eyes, their hearts, and their minds on the One who sits upon the throne [Isaiah 6:1-8]. And when we do, everything changes. All those “things” we were proud of, as well as those things that we sought for pleasure, begin to look a lot like “dung,” or trash, in light of seeking, knowing, loving, embracing, and serving Jesus. Yes, everything from our purpose for living, our perspective of the world and all that the world has to offer (and not just the wicked things), and the practical outworking of our faith changes!
There is perfect peace found when we focus on the One who sits upon the throne. Paul knew and understood this. Old Testament saints like David [Psalm 27:4, 8] understood this, as did the prophet Jeremiah [Jeremiah 29:11-13], and prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 26:3-4, 8-9, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [focused] on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: … 8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. 9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
I guess the real question is:
Just reflecting on Jesus!