Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jesus; Preeminent

11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989

A preacher once spoke on what Paul said about “giving thanks to the Father”. After the service a woman leaving the church said to the minister, “I enjoyed that sermon.” The minister replied to her, “Don’t thank me. Thank the Lord”. She said, “It wasn’t that good!”[1]
Paul’s “sermon” to the Colossian believers paints a graphic picture of just who Jesus is, what he has done, and what that means to us. Paul holds up for us the preeminent Christ.

What does it mean when you say that “Jesus is preeminent”? Primarily it means that (as Paul says in verse 18) Jesus has first place in everything. That’s what it means when we use the medieval term “Lord” as applied to Jesus. Consider just how appropriate that term “Lord” is:

Jesus is the lord over the universe, because He created it. The scripture says that "For by him all things were created....and in him all things hold together." Jesus is lord over HIS universe.
Zig Ziglar is a successful salesman and motivational speaker. I attended a service where he told of seeking God for an answer to his questions. He later saw a shooting star, and understood it to be God's answer to him, planned out years ago, when the star actually burned-out. He said, "That seemed to be saying to me, 'I Am...I created and I control...And don't you forget it!'"

The fact that Jesus controls is sometimes forgotten; especially for believers. We see such heartache, and wrong - we forget He's still in command. And He's not worried; He is LORD over the universe.

The reality of the church is that it was ESTABLISHED by Jesus' death and resurrection; He is Lord of it. Jesus is enthroned because he established HIS church.

A young man went to a preacher and blurted-out in great distress, "Pastor, can you tell me what I need to do to find peace?" The minister replied, "Young man, you’re too late." "I'm too late to be saved?" "No," said the preacher, "but you're too late to do anything. Jesus did everything that needed to be done twenty centuries ago." That is why He is in charge.

He is Lord of the universe, and Lord of the church. Yet, in spite of all His grandeur, power, and authority, He has still ordained that it is up to each of us, individually, whether...

With the entire universe to rule, and the right to do anything He wants, why does Jesus want to be lord over my heart? Well, quite frankly, it has to do with love. Note in John 3:16 that God loved us so much He sent Jesus to be our Savior. God had a purpose in mind; and that purpose is found in Col 1:20 (Making peace between the Creator and the Creation), and Col 1:22, cleansing us, making us free from accusation. God loves us so much He wants to take away the guilt and shame of our sin, and replace it with joy, love and peace. WHAT A DEAL!

There is a prerequisite to receiving that peace. It tells us in Paul’s letter[2] that all people were alienated, enemies of God because of sin. That means that reconciliation must take place.

When families come to me for counsel because there is a dispute, there must be reconciliation. I tell them that someone must make a way. One of the family members HAS to take the first step in loving the others. Until there is movement, no one can get closer.
With the sin that separates us from God, He took the first step. Paul says[3] that the bodily death of Jesus provided the way of reconciliation with God. Our only step is to receive that.

The barometer of Christianity is relationship to the Master – and that is based upon reconciliation. Lordship is the final description of who Jesus is to Christians. A most appropriate illustration of this is the Lord's Prayer. We say, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." It is not wishful thinking ("I hope Your kingdom will come soon, Lord")....Rather it is a statement of what we want to accomplish this day ("Father, I want to obey Your will completely today, and be right in the center of Your kingdom!") That is Lordship!

You might say, I don't want to make that kind of resolution to belong to Jesus; I might not be able to keep it. Good news, friend...None of us can keep it. It is HE who keeps us! We all fail. Resolutions don't reflect your ability, they reflect your heart. And that's what the lord of the universe, the church, and millions of hearts is after....just our hearts!

You can begin – right now…today - a lifetime of relationship to the preeminent Lord of the universe and church. You simply entrust all of who you are to Jesus with a simple prayer.
It can be as simple as this, Lord, be Lord of my heart.

And then, since He’s Lord of the universe, the church and your heart, he is also Lord of the table; come, the table is for you!

In the name of the Father
Because of the Son
Cooperating with the Spirit
[1] Robert S. Smith, Kane, Pennsylvania, Christian Reader, “Lite Fare.”
[2] Colossians 1:21
[3] Colossians 1:22

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