Jesus is not my first priority…

Paul writes, speaking of Jesus Christ: “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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 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.” ~ Colossians 1:16-18

Last December I began to plan the new year in detail and wrote out goals for every aspect of my life. In the last few years, I have chosen a verse and a word to focus on throughout the year.

At the time, I was continuing my reading through Paul’s epistles. The Lord had already been working in my heart for months about this very verse and the word I would choose. I read Colossians and, though I have probably heard and read these verses hundreds of times, they affected me more than ever before.

Colossians 1:18 would be my goal verse. Jesus would be my one word.

I have touched on this before, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of living a Christ-centered life. I know the first month is nearly over, but allow Christ to have preeminence in 2014.

List everything that consumes your time.

This is how I start, and I encourage you to do the same. The list is virtually endless, but I’ll mention the most common – God, family, friends, church, prayer, Bible study, sports, reading, school, television, social media, eating, sleeping, etc… Take a look at your list and order them according to their importance. Now, be honest with yourself, are you giving more time to things of less importance? How does your life balance out?

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:15,16

Jesus is not at the top of my list, nor do I want Him to be.

Jesus is not an item I can simply mark off a to-do list. The verse does not say, “…that above all things he might have the preeminence.” It says, “…that in all things might have the preeminence.” He must be at the center of everything I do.

After I made my list, I looked at each item and asked myself one question, “Can this be done to the glory of Jesus Christ?” If the answer was yes, I then set goals that would ultimately bring glory to Him in their accomplishment. If the answer was no, I removed them.

This is absolutely Biblical. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Honestly, this is difficult. It means we must constantly be walking in the Spirit, and it requires dying to our own fleshly desires. Your flesh and the Spirit are constantly at war. Paul says in Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Mind the things of the Spirit.

Romans 8 is a phenomenal chapter on the flesh versus the Spirit. In verses 5 and 6 it says, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

It’s a simple truth. If you want a life that glorifies Jesus Christ, mind the things of the Spirit. If you want a life that glorifies yourself or anything else that will pass away, mind the things of the flesh.

And everything will affect you one way or another – every television show, every song, every book, every friend, every magazine, every conversation, every text message, every movie, every moment spent either glorifies Christ or doesn’t.

Is my every moment spent on things that glorify Christ? Honestly, no. But I am a work in progress, and so are you. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6) By the end of 2014, I hope to see more time spent on things that glorify Christ than things that satisfy my flesh.

Will you also allow Christ to have the preeminence in your life?

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