The Bible uses some pretty big language to talk about Jesus…Preeminent. Firstborn of creation. Humbled and exalted. What does it all mean? And, what difference does it make in our lives? Understanding who Jesus is makes all the difference in the world. In a world that’s constantly changing, uncertain, sometimes overwhelming, Jesus is hope and truth and love who doesn’t change. This weekend, join us for a new message series, as we embark together on a journey through Colossians into a whole new understanding of Jesus.
1. Praise God and pray for each other
- If we really want to understand Jesus, we need to praise God and pray for one another. Paul reminds us that when we choose to praise God, we actively bring to remembrance God’s character, no matter what’s going on around us.
- Everyday is a day to grow in grace. Our ever-changing circumstances become a vantage point to see how God meets us in a variety of ways. Our time on this Earth is an exploration of God’s character. Every situation offers us the opportunity to learn more about him.
- Another way we grow in our knowledge of God is through praying for each other. Praying for others is a way to keep ourselves abiding in faith, hope and love.
- Faith is our upward expression of trust in God. Love is our outward expression of our understanding of Jesus toward God and others. Hope is our inward disposition of what we allow to grip our hearts, no matter what’s going on in our lives. Faith, hope and love come to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If we’re not experiencing that fruit in our lives, we need to ask God to do a work of renewal within our hearts.
Reflect on your current life circumstances. What would it look like to cultivate a posture of active praise in your life? How often do you intercede for others? How can you actively grow your prayer life?
2. Seek to be filled and fully pleasing
- A great way to pray for people is that they would be “filled,” as Paul says in this passage, with wisdom and understanding and a knowledge of God’s will. We need spiritual understanding of our lives, not just an awareness of the physical occurrences taking place. The question we need to always be asking ourselves is, who are we trying to please in this world?
- We need to make sure we are also seeking to be filled up with the Holy Spirit and fully pleasing to the Lord. When we are filled with his Spirit, we ask him to use our mind, emotions, and senses to see the world more like he sees the world.
- Being “filled” with the Holy Spirit is different from being “indwelled” by the Holy Spirit, which is an immediate reality for anyone who puts their faith in Jesus. A filling of the Holy Spirit in Scripture happens when the Spirit has something very specific to show his people, and he uses someone to say or do what Jesus would say or do.
Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Is your life fully pleasing to God? Is there anything you need to change about how you’re currently living to make yourself fully pleasing to God?
3. See Jesus clearly
- Jesus is the great deliverer. Even if we live very moral, disciplined lives, outside of Jesus, we are in the kingdom of darkness. Jesus moves us into the light.
- Jesus’ way of delivering us is to redeem and forgive us. He gave his own life to buy us back. This is what Communion is all about.
- Because Jesus took on human flesh, he gets all of the dignity and honor of a firstborn. This doesn’t mean Jesus is created––he’s the Creator! Like it says in John 1:3, everything that was made was made through Jesus.
- In all things, Jesus has the preeminence. He has supremacy. If you’re already a follower of Jesus, we need to dig deep into these realities and discern what we have allowed to take first place in our lives. Although the highest authority belongs to Jesus and preeminence is his rightful place in all things, in our own hearts, relationships and pursuits we have to allow him (or even invite him) to take his rightful place to rule and reign.
Journal about this, or discuss it in your group: If Jesus had preeminence in your personal life, in your family, in your church, and in your community, what would it look like?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?