January 26, 2015

Jesus: First and Enough

Colossians 1:15-23

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

—  Colossians 1:15

A high school girl heads to her locker, fearful of the note she will probably find there: "You're fat. You're ugly." A businessman goes hesitantly to the mailbox, his heart heavy about bills that will make him think, "I'm a failure. I'll never get out of debt."

Often the first thing we think in response to our struggles is "If only I had enough friends, or if only I had more money, then Jesus would be enough." But the message of the gospel is that Jesus is always enough.

When Paul wrote these words, Rome had great power. The empire proclaimed that only things connected to Rome mattered. The gospel tells a different story: the crucified Savior, Jesus Christ, makes us "established and firm." What matters is our connection to him.

Jesus, the gospel proclaims, is always first. His death and ­resurrection rearranged the priorities of history. The Roman Empire lost its sway long ago. The struggles of our daily lives, as difficult and painful as they are now, will someday be history. Yet Jesus will still be over all creation.

What are your priorities? In Jesus, the messages of our world are replaced with a new story. We are a new creation. We live "without blemish and free from accusation." May this saving story be first in your life this year.

Give us a vision, Father, of the glory of Jesus Christ. Show us the awesome grace of our connection to him by faith. Make the story of his victory first in our lives. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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