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The Preeminence of Christ

This week Pastor Shaun will continue teaching from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae with a section that most Bible translators have titled, “The Preeminence of Christ.” As we approach corporate worship this Sunday, I want to draw your attention to a few aspects of this text and its implications for our lives.

Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

“He is the image of the invisible God…”

 John 14 records the following exchange between Phillip and Jesus:

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

If you want to know the Father, look to the Son. He is the clear definition of God in the flesh. If you want to know the thoughts, feelings, and actions of God, look to Jesus as revealed in the Scriptures. He is the image of our invisible God. Are there times in your life when Jesus would have good reason to ask you, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?”

“…the firstborn of all creation.”

This statement does not refer to Christ being a created being. This refers to the preeminence of Christ in all of creation. Consider Jesus’ statement in John 8, which makes this clear:

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple.”

The Pharisees understood that Jesus was claiming to be the eternal God, which is why they wanted to stone Him. It is all too easy for us to criticize the Pharisees for their hostile response toward Jesus’ claims, though our flesh reacts the same way- desperately trying to keep Jesus off of the throne of our hearts.

 “All things were created through him and for him.”

Christ was not only intimately involved in creation- ALL things were created for Him! He is the heir of the inheritance of the Father and all things were created for His glory. Christ is ruling and reigning supreme over all- whether we recognize it or not. As C.S Lewis said in The Problem of Pain, “A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” I think the struggle for most of us is much more subtle though- the busyness of work, relationships, parenting, and even ministry can all distract us from recognizing the preeminence of Christ in our lives. When we allow pride and idolatry to take root in our hearts, we deceive ourselves into living as though Christ is not the supreme and central one. We must daily proclaim to ourselves that our very lives were created through Him and for Him. We must daily recognize the preeminence of Christ.

 “He is before all things and in Him all things hold together”

Be encouraged that Christ is sovereign over “all things,” your life included. He is ruling over all of your circumstances and He is sustaining you. He is holding you together. Believer, your life and your salvation are secure in Christ. How will this affect the way you live? Will you look for the work and the glory of Christ in even the most mundane parts of your daily routine? Will you daily recognize the preeminence of Christ?

As I pray for you this week Coastal, I want to echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:9-12. I ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Amen.

Posted by Brian Briggs with

Indelible Impression: The Incredible Value of a Mom

“Eventually, everybody quotes their mom.” I read that this morning and realized how true it was. Years ago, I noticed that I was making statements to my young children that had been made to me as a young child. Somehow, the instructions I received as a young person kept coming around in the form of instructions to the next generation. Mom has been home in Heaven for 2 ½ years (our time) but her influence in my life remains. I continue to be grateful for the godly example my mom was.

I’d like to take a quick look at a mom in Scripture who doesn’t get a great deal of notoriety, but who impresses me with her determination with respect to her child.

We don’t even know the woman’s name; she is simply called the Shunammite. We are told about her in 2 Kings 4 when she offers hospitality to Elisha, one of God’s prophets. He came through that area often and stayed with this couple every time he came by. They eventually even built a small guest room on the roof of their home so that Elisha would have a place to stay and sleep.

After some time, Elisha felt compelled to do something to return the kindness of this family. She seemed to offer no indication of anything that she wished to have from him, but Elisha’s servant mentioned that they were childless. Elisha called her and prophesied over her that a year later she would have a son. Though it seemed too good to be true to her, God overcame the natural inability of this couple to have children and she bore a son.

Years went by with the same pattern of hospitality and generosity toward the man of God until one day, the boy collapsed in the field while working with his father. The servants brought him to her and she cradled her son in her arms until he died.

The day was half gone but the woman mounted a donkey and had a servant lead her to where Elisha was. She explained the situation to him and he promptly sent his servant to lay a staff over the son, planning to bring him back to life. The woman didn’t leave Elisha’s side until he himself went back to the house. God rewarded her faith and her unswerving loyalty by bringing her son back to life. It’s an amazing story about a mom who honored God and saw the miraculous power of God in her life.

Can I draw a couple of thoughts from this passage of Scripture to give you some ideas about how to thank your mom this year?

1) This woman was gracious and hospitable. Does (or did) your mom provide for you and care for you with food and shelter? Does she often go out of her way to see that you are cared for? Seeing how this Shunammite woman cared for Elisha makes me think that she cared for her family in the same way.

2) The lady from Shunem was not in it for reward. When asked how she could be repaid, she offered nothing. The opportunity to serve was what she was after. Did your mom demonstrate a servant’s spirit? Appreciation goes a long way…

3) This woman went the extra mile. Getting her husband to build guest quarters on the roof of their home wasn’t necessary, but she didn’t stop with just the bare minimum. I expect she was the same with her family.

4) The lady experienced great loss but was unwilling to give up. She knew the power of God and knew what she needed to do to see it in her family’s life. There is every reason to believe that she anticipated a resurrection of her son. My mom never gave up on me as a kid. Was yours the same? Thank her for it.

Being a mom is often a thankless and unrecognized position. I want to thank each of you who is in that position for your sacrifice and your grace toward your family. We are grateful for you and for the incredible influence you wield in our lives…even if we don’t say it often enough.

Posted by David Wilson with

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