Here in America, we emphasize equal rights and fairness. Nobody gets special privileges because of where or to whom they were born. Nobody gets to cut to the front of the line.
If you get to pick first today, it’s only fair that I get to pick first tomorrow. It’s a level playing field for everybody because nobody is better or more privileged than anyone else. It’s a great system.
The problem comes when we transfer this way of seeing to the Creator of the universe. We sing, “Jesus is my friend.” And He is. We celebrate that “Jesus is the servant of all.” And He is.
But He is not our equal. He is superior in every way.
John makes that clear with the opening words of his gospel: “And the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV). Jesus may have been human like we are, but He is divine like we will never be.
Colossians 1:18 tries to tell us that Jesus is supreme and superior to us, but I’m not sure we get it. Paul says, “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”
What does that mean?
It means He’s first. He’s privileged. If He were to reach an intersection at the same time we did, or after we did, He has the right of way. If we got to a doorway at the same time, we would not only let Him go first, we would also bow down before Him, take off our jackets and ask Him to walk on them.
That’s not very American. Not close to politically correct. But right and true—because He is superior to us in every way, and He earned our worship with his merits at the cross.
One reason New Song is a Jesus-first church is because Jesus really is first:
- He was Mary’s firstborn son (Luke 2:7).
- He is the firstborn among all brothers and sisters (Rom. 8:29).
- He is the firstborn over all creation (Col. 1:15).
- He is the firstborn among the dead (Col. 1:18).
- He is the firstborn from the dead (Rev. 1:5).
- He is the first and the last (Rev. 1:17).
- He is the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8).
- He is the beginning and the end (Rev. 22:13).
- He is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).
- Every knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth will bow before Him (Phil. 2:10).
If that’s who He is for all eternity, then I think we ought to be treating Him that way now. What do you think?
I ought to have no problem getting on my knees before Him every morning. I ought to instinctively worship Him, reverently defer to Him, gratefully submit to Him, perpetually yield my rights to Him, purposefully align my agenda to His and intentionally live the way He wants me to live. Because Jesus is first! So far above me that I don’t even dare say I’m a distant second.
I am His creation, His son, His subject, His servant, His forgiven follower and, for reasons only fathomable in the halls of heaven, the object of His affection.
Jesus is first because He is first.
What does that mean to you, and how will that affect the way you live today?
Hal Seed is the founding pastor of New Song Church in Oceanside, Calif. He is currently encouraging churches to launch a Bible Reading Revolution in their churches and cities. Find out how to participate at www.pastormentor.com.
For the original article, visit pastormentor.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.