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: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 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.
In Colossians 1:16-18, the apostle Paul reminds the church at Colossae-a church struggling with Gnosticism [overemphasis on knowledge] and legalism [over emphasis on traditions, rules, and regulations]-that Christ not only created all things, but he created all things for himself.
We were created for God’s glory [Isaiah 43:7] and for his pleasure [Revelation 4:11]. Paul also reminds them that our Lord Jesus should have pre-eminence and not simply prominence in our lives and ministries.
- Prominence- Something or someone that is important, even very important.
- Pre-eminence- Something or someone that is not simply important, not just very important, but most important. Something or someone that is superior to all else and supreme above all else!
THAT’S A BIG DIFFERENCE THERE!
As one author noted, “Christ is the centerpiece of God’s universe, and even our lives. … When Christ is not central and supreme in our lives, everything about life shifts out of orbit and moves out of kilter. So for Christians, our first task is to know Jesus. And out of that knowing, we will come to love Him, adore Him, proclaim Him, and manifest Him.”
The biblical Christian life isn’t about YOU; isn’t about ME; it isn’t even about US; the Christian life is all ABOUT HIM and FOR HIM!
The Great Commandment, in other words the most important commandment, is that we love him with every fiber of our being [Matthew 22:37-38]. As we mentioned in a previous post,
We can BELIEVE all the right things, we can DO all the right things, and we can even STAND FOR all the rights things and have lost our first love for Jesus [Revelation 2:1-5]!
When you think about it, we really have made Christianity about so many things-and many of them we fight over, and we often, without meaning to do so, leave Jesus in the background when he ought to be front and center in every area of our lives and ministries. We need to get back to Jesus. We need to get back to knowing, loving, embracing, serving, and proclaiming Jesus. As one author wrote:
When you cannot remember the 22 characteristics of a good wife, the 7 steps to authority, or the 9 ways of love . . . It’s time to get back to Jesus. All the way back to Jesus. Not to Prohibition. Not to Wesley or the Great Awakening. Not just to the Reformation or Calvin. Not even to the early church fathers. All the way back to Jesus. I am not talking about wearing a robe held in place by a rope. I am talking about following not only the teachings of Christ but also the spirit in which He carried out His teaching. You cannot stop short. … It’s the rest we find when we are walking through unfamiliar surroundings with a guide who knows the way. The closer you get to Jesus, the more at home you will feel in this journey. God designed it that way.
The same author wrote:
An old theorem states that if your basic premise is inaccurate, every subsequent conclusion you come to will be inaccurate. Astronomers say that if you launch a missile toward Mars and you are one inch off at the launch pad, you will miss Mars by 900 miles. We cannot afford to be even a little off when it comes to Jesus, because even a little shy can be dangerous. Think about it this way. Plenty of people today have embraced religion, and within that religion they embrace God or Jesus, at least by name. Yet those same “religious” people do not act anywhere near how Jesus acted. It started off well, but slowly, we stopped correcting back to Jesus.
Another author writes this probing statement, “Let this question echo in your soul: Do you love Christ? Is He precious to you, as He was to Peter? Is He the hub of your faith and your life, or have you made Christianity something of a way to live instead of a Person to love? This is a concept we talk about but don’t often analyze.”
The problem is, at least for many of us, we are too busy to get back to Jesus. Too busy DOING GOOD THINGS, while at the same time neglecting to DO THE GOD THING. Remember Martha?
Luke 10:38-42, Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
We all have a choice to make. And we have to make it on a daily basis. Will we follow in the footsteps of Martha and do a lot of GOOD THINGS, or will we follow the example of Mary and do the GOD THING?
If we are doing the GOD THING the GOOD THINGS will follow, but they will be done in the Spirit and not the flesh!
Psalm 27:4, 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.