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First Things @ First

Pastoral Perspectives,

The Apostle Paul in writing to the church at Colosse, reminded anyone reading this letter that Christ is superior in all things. Therefore, if Jesus is Lord and Savior then everything must be aligned accurately in their positioning from that center.

Paul wrote--"And He is before all things, and in 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 may have the preeminence." Colossians 1:17-18

How accurate is your view of Jesus?

I believe the question relevant because the 'westernized' culture increasingly addresses the God of heaven and earth as, 'the man upstairs', or 'our coach' or even 'my buddy.' And in so doing, human beings demean, even disregard the reverence due Holy God. I read a story the other day by Dr. Ken Duggan that went something like this--"Someone once described to me a heavenly encounter that a colleague had experienced and wanted my opinion on the matter. It seems that Christ appeared to this individual as he shaved while preparing for work. The Savior and this man had a conversation that left Him with a warm feeling of love and acceptance.

What was my response? 'The man did not meet Jesus,' I said. 'If he had, he would not have been able to stand, much less shave, and continue a casual conversation.' The presence of the person described in this passage by the Apostle Paul would initiate at least an attitude of worship, if not outright terror if experienced on earth."

When the glory and power of God is revealed to human beings on earth, the consistent response we find in scripture is one of awe, fear and trembling. (no one keeps on shaving; no one continues in their daily routine) When a human being encounters the holiness of God, he/she never forgets it because that person is never the same.

Think about Isaiah in chapter 6. When Isaiah saw the Lord, high and lifted up, he saw how desperately sinful he was and confessed such to God. It was from that confession that God cleansed him and then used him for His glory. If anyone desires to be used of God for the glory of God, being connected to the Head of the body, Jesus Christ is essential. Paul said, "He is the head of the body, the church..." Therefore, as a member of His body, my life is completely controlled by the direction of the Head, Christ Jesus. Anything less, means that I am dead without a Head. Jesus is the Chief Counselor and Chief Controller of my entire being as a redeemed sinner. He is not my co-pilot nor is He my personal advisor. He is not even my partner. None of those widely accepted terms give Him the preeminence due His name. Paul was emphatic that 'in all things, He may have preeminence.' Not some things or most things. Paul said in 'all' things because Christ alone holds me together and all things together for me in this life. His awesome power, when released through reverence for His person provides the strength necessary to overcome every obstacle in life and every circumstance that the Adversary orchestrates to discourage me from following Him as Lord and Savior.

Could an inaccurate view of God be responsible for why some attend church and consistently leave without any significant change?

I believe it is simply because a life unaltared before God is a life unaltered by God.

Consequently, anything/anyone is placed ahead of God for convenience and in the process, we fail to recognize that whatever comes ahead of Jesus in our life is 'out of place.' It must be reassigned or replaced, if Jesus is to have the preeminence in life. And the quicker the better! If not, it will be removed because God will not long tolerate competition in the heart of those He has redeemed with the blood of Jesus. So, when life gets to be a whirlwind of disorder, (and it does from time to time) a good place to begin putting things in order is with an accurate assessment of your view of Jesus!

Is He holy? Is He high and lifted up? Isaiah 6:1 Or is He 'low down' on your list of personal priorities?

Do you remember that guy named Isaiah I mentioned earlier?

Here is what Isaiah the pagan said after God altered his life and called him to be a prophet--

"I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 45:5 Now there's an accurate view of God!

For Isaiah there was NO comparison and NO competition. (Zero, Zip, Zilch, Nada) Could the same be said of you from your vantage point today?

Just in case you or someone you know is looking for some control in the chaos of this culture, Isaiah points the way ten chapters later in the same book--

"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6-7

Praise God there's a way through the travail of trial, a way through the fright of false security, a way through the valley of discouragement.

The solution is having a good Head on your shoulders.

And you can never go wrong when that Head is the Christ of the God Head!

For a better, more blessed journey with Jesus this week!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36