Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Place

We live in a world where winning seems to be everything. In 4 days many around the world will gather in living rooms and social establishments around the country to watch two teams run back and forth on a 100-yard field with two zones at either end, which are the goals of each team. One zone in which the opposing team will do everything in their power to keep that zone's team out of it, and the other zone in which the zone's team will do everything in their power to get in to it. They will throw an oblong pigskin to and fro and will beat each other up (much more tamely known as tackling) in order to meet their goals.

There will be people wearing their favorite team's colors ~ some will go to such an extent that they will even paint their entire bodies in said colors so as to prove their loyalty. Houses will have flags waving their favorite team's logo out front. Entire cities will wait with bated breath waiting to see if their team will be welcomed with a parade or a press conference. Everyone will want to know ~ even those who don't follow the sport ~ who will take first place. Which team will win?

In our home we are baseball fans, and it's really fun when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Colorado Rockies. One half of our family decks out in blue and white. The other half decks out in Purple and Black. Smack talk can be heard as homeruns are hit, bases are stolen and runs are scored. The desire for each half of our family is to see who gets "bragging rights." Whose team will WIN?

Today's scripture talks about winning, talks about who really takes first place in our lives.

Colossians 1: 15 - 23
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

(italics mine)

Verse 18: "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."

Some of you, in looking back in this blog, may have read Colossians 1:17 and know that it is my "life verse." It was given to me in a very hard time of my life and spoke to the circumstances. It still does to this day. However, much like Jeremiah 29:12, the next verse speaks to the continual journey. Verse 17 is the hope, the security. Verse 18 is the reminder of the fact that in our lives, if we call ourselves Christians, God Himself takes first place.

He is the Head Pastor of a church. He is the Head Coach of a team. He is the Owner, President, CEO and HEAD of  E V E R Y T H I N G. He will not take second place. He will not allow other gods before Him. He is the beginning, and the end. He IS everything. 

Are you living that way today? Would you be willing, if God had team colors, to paint your body with His colors to show your love for Him? Would you pump your fist in the air when someone succeeded on His field as you would at a concert or sporting event? Would you, no matter what, go where He's leading, share what He's giving and live in such a way that there would be no doubt as to WHO you belong to because you know with Whom you will spend eternity? Not in the obnoxious, turn-everyone-off kind of way, but in the real way..the daily way? The way that knows you have something soooooo good that you *must* share it and celebrate it? 

"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything." 

PS: Enjoy the Super Bro-wl!