Sunday, September 08, 2013

Taking Pleasure in His Preeminence

A woman on my Facebook timeline posted a paragraph which included this phrase:

Just imagine if Christ alone became our pleasure.”

Think on that for more than a moment. What if Christ was not just our duty and not just our gratitude but if He was our highest and paramount pleasure. What if Jesus was not only the force behind our lives, but He was what gave us unquenchable pleasure even in this temporal world. This temporal world is filled with all sorts of pleasures. Self gratification, material things, entertainment, sports, food, clothing, and many other things give people pleasure.

But what if followers of Jesus had more than a doctrinal commitment? What if Jesus became our very life’s pleasure and He was the preeminence in everything we thought and did? And this was not just a duty to orthodoxy, but this was what we craved and what we sought and what we thirsted after.

Col.1: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
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.

What does the phrase “that in all things He might have the preeminence” mean? I mean we know what it is saying but how does it translate into our hearts and lives? We speak of money and sports and politics and world events and weather and a laundry list of other subjects, but where is Jesus in all of that? If He is to receive the preeminence in all things why is our speech not consumed with Him and His Word? Even the church has transformed itself into a help and good advice station rather than an oasis where Jesus is always high and lifted up.

Can you not see that in general Jesus has been relegated to the doctrinal books and statements of faith, but He has not been the focal point of the church for many decades. The Spirit does not say that Jesus should be preeminent on Sunday morning which in most circles He is not. He says that Jesus should be preeminent in ALL things. That, my friends, is a tall order and monumental in scope. But when we lose sight of it and ignore that exhortation we can settle into a nice and comfortable religious framework which soothes the conscience and strokes the flesh.

The world ministers to the flesh, but the Spirit ministers to our spirit. And instead of Jesus being the beginning and end of all we are and think, we have taken what pleasures us in the temporal and force fed a caricature of Jesus into that equation. It is spiritual treason at its zenith. How can we pretend to submit to the preeminence of Jesus in all things when in reality He does not even have the preeminence in anything?

Now with the concept of preeminence clearly focused in our minds let us move into sacred and spiritually sophisticated territory. It is one thing to completely surrender to His lordship in our lives and live under His authority. But it is quite another to have that lordship as being our unequalled pleasure. Can that be possible? Can we move from dedicated and dutiful servant and while still being that servant having it be spiritually pleasurable in all things? What would the church look like if Christ was our all encompassing pleasure?

But alas, we have settled for a world of lesser gods in which our gods are marionettes which dance to the strings of our desires. It is a world where men worship themselves through other names such as Redeemer, Savior, and Jesus. Far from being a pleasure serving the Risen Christ is such a stranger to the culture and present such a sacrifice that we are forced to manufacture another Jesus who acquiesces to our own thoughts and lusts. And the church believes they are giving Jesus all the preeminence when in fact we are preeminent. And yes, it is we who we serve. The things of this earth give us pleasure and we paste God’s name to it. The only one we fool is ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Dear readers, an unsaved person can't give Jesus preeminence in anything, for the unsaved person does not have, know, nor recognize the Holy Spirit of God.

In Philippians 2:9-11 we read these thrilling words.

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Help us heavenly Father to completely surrender to Your lordship in our lives and live obediently under Your authority, so that the risen Lord Jesus Christ daily is our all encompassing pleasure. Amen!

Truly the Holy Bible is God's inspired Word, and Jesus is the Christ, the only way to God the Father (John 4:6).

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Hypocrisy it is, and snippets of the bible are recruited to justify our own self worship and keep God at bay.

Anonymous said...

This is profound and something we rarely hear discussed.

This has been on my mind too. Lately, while praying, I just had nothing to say, and confessed to the Lord that I am dull spiritually. How can I talk to the Lord, when I'm so limited in my scope and don't have a great imagination on what heaven is like or can't imagine what He is like in all His glory? Thank the Lord some of His children can press in and see beyond this world when they pray. I just don't have that ability. But I enjoy hearing other people's insights.

If christians shared more to each other it would encourage others.

It's incredible to read about God in the garden of Eden walking and fellowshipping with Adam and Eve. I can't imagine it. What does the limited creation say to his Creator? If we saw Him in all His glory as we are, in our flesh, we probably would die. Having just seen for the hundredth time, "Indiana Jones" on the lost Ark of the Covenant, and being reminded they weren't to look into the Ark or they would perish, just knowing how much power and awesome nature that He is, is too much for us to bear thinking about. We do need to be reminded about His great awesomeness.

When Phil. 4:8 says, "Finally brethren, what things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things", I've got to confess, I'm a long way off finding good reports.

Maybe someday, I'll be delivered and be allowed to see through this veil. But right now, the unspeakable joy and pleasure of heaven is not on my timetable. I've got to survive and run the race and get to the finish line first. But, as a weaker vessel, I appreciate all those who can edify and encourage me and others not to faint or get weary.


Anonymous said...


Great Post!

Anonymous said...

Jackie, I don't think that you are a long way off finding good reports. Start with Our heavenly Father's report about Jesus whilst He lived as a man on earth.

In Mathew 3:17 we read: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Truly the risen Lord Jesus, God's beloved Son, is worthy to be found well pleasing in our sight.

Let's acknowledge that He is good and that He opens our eyes, so that we can understand and discern what is good.

Let's praise Him for it is a wonderful blessing to have the opportunity to bless His name above all other names.

Praise Him, Jackie, for He truly is the LORD God. Praise Him for the gift of your life and the experience of living in a family. Praise Him for He can open your eyes to even more things of good report!

Josef Sefton

Cherie c. said...

I just had to re-post this, if you please Pastor Rick:

No Hollow Fiction

This has to be one of the best summations of what Christ accomplished on the cross that I’ve read. This is the position occupied, in and through Christ, by every believer.

To be entitled to use another’s name, when my own name is worthless; to be allowed to wear another’s raiment, because my own is torn and filthy; to appear before God in another’s person,—the person of the Beloved Son,—this is the summit of all blessing. The sin-bearer and I have exchanged names, robes, and persons! I am now represented by Him, my own personality having disappeared; He now appears in the presence of God for me (Heb. ix. 24). All that makes Him precious and dear to the Father has been transferred to me. His excellency and glory are seen as if they were mine; and I receive the love, and the fellowship, and the glory, as if I had earned them all. So entirely one am I with the sin-bearer, that God treats me not merely as if I had not done the evil that I have done; but as if I had done all the good which I have not done, but which my Substitute has done. In one sense I am still the poor sinner, once under wrath; in another I am altogether righteous, and shall be so for ever, because of the Perfect One, in whose perfection I appear before God. Nor is this a false pretense or a hollow fiction, which carries no results or blessings with it. It is an exchange which has been provided by the Judge, and sanctioned by law; an exchange of which any sinner upon earth may avail himself and be blest.

—Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness; or, How shall Man be Just with God? (London: James Nisbet and Co, 1873

Am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Reine and Josef are the same person and responds to people using different personalities? Just asking.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Very weird if what you say is true. I think though that both Reine and Josef think the same thoughts. I think we should give them both the nod of approval.

Reine and Josef

Anonymous said...

Dear readers, the preminence of Lord Jesus Christ is truly a very impotant subject.
My witness is that God can come to dwell with His creation. I have found that the more our life lines us with what He blesses the more we become aware that He truly exists and longs to reward us with a desire to live purely before Him.

Jesus said something truly astonishing and true. He said: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. What an encouragement these words of Jesus are to us. If we truly want to see God we should desire Him to create in us a clean heart. What a fantastic and fulfilling journey that is when we live with the desire to hallow God's name and love our neighbor as ourself.

Dear readers may God bless you with a deep desire to live purely before Him!

Cherie c said...

Okay, whatever.
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, I love you. You too, Josef. I will not be contentious, but I do, like Cherie, think it's weird to use two differing monikers. I guess I can see using a pen name, but not so much among the Brethren.


Cherie c. said...


How are you dear sister? I have missed you. I hope all is well with you. I love you too! I hope Reine/Josef know I love her too.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Maureen said...

Brilliant and beautiful post, thank you.

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful, ladies. Just a gentle reminder. Reine Gnade isn't a person. It is just words in German language which mean pure grace. I delight to use these words because I want to witness that the Good News is pure grace.

So in summary, Josef Sefton is a man and Reine has no connection to womanhood, except for the fact that in the French language Reine means Queen!


Cherie c. said...

Please forgive me Josef if I said anything that may have hurt you, no intention to do so. It was an honest question/observation. I am sorry if I seemed other than loving in my question/observation regarding your use of names on the blog. Please forgive me for my ignorance, but I did not know.

Just thought it strange that one person would use two names as it appears you did.

Again, please forgive me if I said anything that may have hurt you.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, I enjoy laughter. God bless you.