Jesus: First in Everything

TheCross“That He might have first place in all things.”  Colossians 1:18b

I’m going to begin with a radical statement:  You will never experience the fullness of joy that you were created to know until Jesus Christ has first place in every area of your life. Again, you will never experience the fullness of joy that you were created to know until Jesus Christ has first place in every area of your life.

Now hang on to that for a minute.  First place.

  • First in my home.
  • First in my choices for entertainment.
  • First in the way I use my money.
  • First in my career.
  • First in my thoughts.
  • First in my decisions.
  • First in my marriage.
  • First in my singleness.
  • First in my relationships.
  • First in my dreams for the future.

“I will never experience the fullness of joy that I was created to know until I put Jesus Christ first in every area of my life.”

I think a lot of people would intellectually subscribe to that, but I wonder how many of us would truly embrace that into our behavior?  That doesn’t come easily. So here’s what’s in front of us.  The quintessential passage on the supremacy of Jesus Christ is Colossians 1:15-19. So much of what we believe about Jesus Christ, what we love and celebrate about Him, comes from this passage so it demands our complete attention.  Whenever you think, “Jesus first,” think “Colossians 1.” It’s all here.

Colossians 1:16, “
All things were created through [Christ] and for [Christ].”  Through Him and for Him.  Some people have a hard time with that. They’re like, “I can handle the fact that He created the universe, but I have a hard time with Him creating the universe for Himself.  Who does He think He is?  His glory?  His pleasure?  His purpose?  Is that ever prideful!  How self-centered can you get?!”  Listen.  The amazing thing is not that Jesus Christ created things, including us, for Himself.  The amazing thing is that He could care less.  That’s the amazing thing—that He has chosen in His incredible grace to love us, to dwell with us, to forgive us—the list goes on.  That’s the incredible news.

Think about your life.  Think about His persistent, persistent love.  Think about how faithfully He pursues you in spite of yourself.  The next time you sin or reject or ignore Him, how amazing is it that He just doesn’t walk away and say, “Forget you!”  That’s amazing!  He is not here for us; we are here for him.  We are here to bring Him glory.  We are here to display His splendor.  We are here to make Him known.  He is our purpose and we find our greatest joy when He is at the center of our lives.

Several years ago, Forbes magazine invited scholars from around the world to contribute to its seventy-fifth anniversary issue by answering this question: “Why are we so unhappy?”  And in came the essays from a panorama of perspectives and from supposedly some of the greatest minds of our generation.  Surprisingly, they agreed on this one point.  The primary reason for the unhappiness of mankind, they concluded, was “we have lost our moral and spiritual center.”  Ding! I’m telling you that center is Jesus Christ the Lord.  You will discover your greatest joy and your greatest fulfillment in putting Him in the center of your life.

I have something special that I want to share with you.  It’s an excerpt from a message by S.M. Lockridge, a man of God who is now with his Lord, but who lifted up and exalted the name of Jesus Christ like few preachers I’ve ever heard.  .

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Now—what burden are you carrying that the Lord Jesus couldn’t carry better?

What problem are you facing that you can afford to face without complete continuous dependence upon Him?

What sin have you been struggling with that you wouldn’t renounce for His glory?

What area of defeat have you been circling in that you wouldn’t choose in this moment to move afresh toward His all sufficiency in all things?

Colossians 1: 18b, “That He might have first place in all things.”

Dr. James MacDonald ~ Walk in the Word