Summary: Giving Preeminence To Christ.
CHRIST FIRST AND FOREMOST!
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (KJV)
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (KJV)
INTRODUCTION: As I pondered a message to begin the year 2008 I came up with several different thoughts and have settled on this one. For the last several months I have preached messages with the theme or at least along the thought of “CHRIST FIRST AND FOREMOST” Most of your frustrations and dissatisfactions would be resolved if you would do this one thing and that is to put Christ first and foremost in everything you do. No one will be happy when their devotion is divided between two different efforts or goals.
When you see or hear of someone dropping out of church it is because they are not happy with their spiritual life. They may give some other reason, but the real core of the matter is their relationship with Jesus Christ. They have left the Bible out of their life and they have left prayer out of their life as well.
It is not a matter of our “want to” in giving Him the preeminence. It is a command. It is expected of each of us. To fail to do this is to commit sin that will hinder your personal walk with Him, and will hinder your prayers being answered. Does it matter to you that in most cases none of us are satisfactory in the sight of God in this one matter? Each of us will either give Him preeminence or someone or something else will be the object of our preeminence. That’s why I say, “Christ, First and Foremost!”
Let me give you a few ways in which you can make the matter of preeminence for Christ to be real to you this year.
I. FIRST IN OUR PERSONAL LIFE
A. Your Plans For The Year.
As you plan your calendar for the year 2008, will you plan it around Christ and Him first? If you do not plan on putting Him first, you won’t put Him first. If you don’t make a great effort in this matter, then He will be pushed way down the list of priorities.
1. Plan a time for the Lord everyday. Ps 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee….. Don’t allow anything to cause you to side-step the devotion to the Lord.
2. Have a certain time in which you read the Bible. I have told you this dozens of times. Without a set time you will not be consistent in the matter. You will hit and miss. How many of you would get to work at 8:00 in the morning if it wasn’t the bosses rule? You wouldn’t. One day you would get there at 8:00 the next at 9:00. Without a schedule everything will be hit-and-miss, and spasmodic.
3. Set aside a time for prayer. It will be best to pray before, during and following your Bible reading time.
Make yourself do these things. Don’t take the approach that you must do it, rather because you want to, or it won’t be effective. If that is the way you do it, then you will not accomplish much, because you will always let something else other that the matters of God rule out. I know this, and so do you. Make yourself do it. You make yourself go to work every morning. I know that most of you don’t want to go to work. You would like to not have to go to work, but you do have to and so you make your self go. That’s called discipline.
Dr. Lee Roberson was the Pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church, in Chattanooga, TN for 40 plus years. One night he woke from sleeping realizing he and his wife had not had their daily Bible reading and prayer time together, he woke her up and they got out of bed and got their Bibles and read a portion of Scripture and prayed. That’s what I am talking about. Making it work.
Crawl out of bed earlier, or stay up a little later at night but get the job done.
Here’s something everyone could do.
4. Plan your days off and your vacation around the matter of putting Christ first. Instead of planning on taking a sight-seeing vacation – plan to go to some mission project. Don’t just go some where because you want to – make it a project for the Lord. The Lord must be object of all we do.
Rick Carter in The Dalles Oregon – two or three families take vacation time and go there and pass out tracts 3 or 4 days.