Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's All About Him

[Note: I didn’t blog last week’s sermon because I was out of town and couldn’t be at church. When/if the sermon is uploaded on the church website, I will listen to it and blog about it later.]

In part five of the series on Colossians, Chad talked about Colossians 1:15-20 which reads:

15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16For 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:

17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18And 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.

19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Chad explained that EVERYTHING is “by Him, for Him, and in Him….all about Him and not about us.” That obviously goes against the cry of our culture that exclaims “it’s all about me” - which, ironically, I just read on a t-shirt a few days ago. Chad asked us if we have awakened to the fact that “it’s not all about you.” Well? Have we? Does this nation and this planet realize that we were created by Him, for Him, and in Him? Are we living to honor and glorify our Creator, or ourselves?

Maybe we would “wake up” a little better if we began understanding just how amazing, big, and sovereign God is. In Sunday’s scripture, Chad said that we needed to expand our view of Jesus. He wasn’t just a person in a place and time. The preceding verses said that He is the “firstborn of every creature” which is a place of favor and honor. He didn’t just come into being 2,000 years ago. He was here before time even began because He was and is a part of the Father (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). If we don’t have Jesus first, all the rest isn’t going to make sense or matter much. Chad pointed out that the “rules for holy living” that Paul describes later on in Colossians came only after he talked about the foundation of Jesus first. Having “rules” before Christ only makes it “religion” and nothing more. It’s not about “religion” - it’s about relationship…….and the rest will follow as Christ transforms the heart.

So, how great is our God? Well, Chad began describing just how BIG the universe is and how amazingly vast and complex everything is (I recommend listening to the message for yourself when it’s available on the church website so you can hear all the mind-boggling details!!). God’s imprint is on everything because He created everything (Genesis 1, Psalm 33:6). He described how the earth and everything in our world is at just the right degree, with all the right atmospheric compositions, etc. and if one thing were to be even slightly less or more, there would be “no life on planet earth.” He said it’s like having all these “dials” set to a specific calculation and if one is off, they are all off. God is the master controller that sets all those “dials.” He’s the one that created everything and keeps it all running. If you ever thought the “big bang theory” was even remotely true, I suggest that you wake up to the evidence all around you that nothing is by mistake or coincidence. HOW IN THE WORLD COULD EVERYTHING BE ARRANGED SO PERFECTLY BY HAPPENSTANCE???? Just like a computer needs a programmer to create and manage all it’s intricate complexities and components in order to exist and function, so does something as infinitely multifaceted as the universe, life, etc.!! A “big bang” of anything doesn’t create, it destroys (case and point: an atomic bomb).

So, since the “big bang” is such an obvious farce, that only leaves the only reasonable and logical conclusion. Since the world didn’t make itself, someone had to have made the world. That someone is God Almighty. The irrefutable fact is that God spoke the universe and all there is into being. In fact, the word “universe” actually means “single spoken sentence.” We live in the very breath that spoke this world into being!! WOW!! What a mighty God we serve!! The Master and Creator of all things made all there is by the utterance of just a few words!!

God didn’t stop with just the universe though. No, he saved his greatest creation for last -that would be us!! We are the ONLY beings to be made in HIS IMAGE!! He took great care in making us!! Chad even showed us something that I remembered getting via e-mail not so very long ago by my good friend Saundra. It was a brilliant illustration of today’s scripture message and how Christ holds all things together; not just in the universe and nature, but actually in us!! That amazing thing is something called laminin (to read it’s definition, please see the Wikipedia entry). The sentence that stands out to me is: “Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together.” In addition to that, you might be interested to know that laminin is in the shape of a cross. Yep, that’s right!! A CROSS!!! (Google it if you don’t believe me!!).

In all of this we see the supremacy and sovereignty of God. It’s an overwhelmingly obvious pile of evidence and awe-striking wonder that no one can argue with (well, you can…..but you’ll look ridiculous and foolish if you try!). Those that deny the authority and superiority of God are ignorant and foolish (Psalm 14:1, 1 Peter 2:15, 2 Peter 3:16). As “intellectual” as a non-believer may think he/she is, one knows nothing unless he knows his own Maker. Even nature and animals understand this fact (Psalm 148:3, Isaiah 55:12). Everything declares His workmanship!! Chad described how lions know the order and hierarchy of things and how all of creation is in subjection to God’s authority and order. How else would every moving creature know how to function and do what they were born to do? Who teaches a spider to spin a web? Who teaches an eagle to fly? They do what they do because they have a Creator who created them “on purpose for a purpose….there are no accidents” (as my English teacher always said). How much MORE, then, are we who are made in HIS IMAGE created with even GREATER PURPOSE?! Do YOU know yours?!! If you don’t, why don’t you ask the One who made you? HE will tell you!!

I pray that everyone reading this will know the great sovereignty of God!! Greater still is His immense love for you!! If you don’t know that, and don’t know Him, please don’t hesitate to ask me or another brother/sister in Christ about how you can get to know your Creator!! Grace and peace to all of you!! I’ll close with Psalm 33. Ponder and marvel at the awesomeness of God as you take in every word!! (I’m posting it in the NLT rather than the KJV this time so it’s in plain English for everyone to understand and enjoy).

Psalm 33

1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;it is fitting for the pure to praise him.

2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.

3 Sing a new song of praise to him;play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.

4 For the word of the Lord holds true,and we can trust everything he does.

5 He loves whatever is just and good;the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

6 The Lord merely spoke,and the heavens were created.He breathed the word,and all the stars were born.

7 He assigned the sea its boundariesand locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.

8 Let the whole world fear the Lord,and let everyone stand in awe of him.

9 For when he spoke, the world began!It appeared at his command.

10 The Lord frustrates the plans of the nationsand thwarts all their schemes.

11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;his intentions can never be shaken.

12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
13 The Lord looks down from heavenand sees the whole human race.

14 From his throne he observesall who live on the earth.

15 He made their hearts,so he understands everything they do.

16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king,nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.

17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you.

18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him,those who rely on his unfailing love.

19 He rescues them from deathand keeps them alive in times of famine.

20 We put our hope in the Lord.He is our help and our shield.

21 In him our hearts rejoice,for we trust in his holy name.

22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,for our hope is in you alone.

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