This statement sounds true at first glance, but closer examination will show that it can actually set you on a wrong course in your grace walk. Christ doesn’t want to be first place in your life. He wants you to recognize Him as all of your life.
If Jesus Christ wants the first-place spot, what comes second? What about third place? What comes after that? The whole concept is absurd because it implies that our lives can be divided into compartments, with Jesus being one of those compartments.
To understand this point, think about your physical life for a moment. What would you think if I were to suggest that breathing should have first place in your life? What if somebody else said that having a heartbeat should be number one in your life? Maybe someone else could argue, “No, your circulatory system should come first, then breathing, then having a heartbeat.”
It’s a ridiculous discussion because your body is a whole, united entity. You can’t prioritize which is most important. Your physical health will give expression to every one of those actions in your body. They all work together as they express your normal state of health.
In the same way, our lives are indivisible when it comes to the effect of Christ’s presence within us. We can’t divide our lives into marriage, parenting, career, hobbies, and so on. All of those areas make up our lifestyle as one unified life, and Jesus is the source of our attitudes and actions in each of those areas.
The Truth Is So Much Better!
Jesus Christ isn’t first place in your life. He is your life. He is the essence of who you are. Paul wrote in Colossians 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” He described life in Philippians 1:21 by saying, “To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Note that Paul didn’t give Jesus a high place in his life. Paul realized that the very core of his existence was his union with Jesus Christ. He said it this way in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
There it is. Paul said that he didn’t have a life apart from Jesus Christ. That’s true for you too. While it may sound admirable to say that we want Him to be number one in our lives, it misses the point of our union with Him altogether.
Christ wants to be recognized as the life of your family, career, hobbies, finances, and so on. Do you see the point? He is your everything!
Clarify Your Thinking.
We do ourselves a disservice when we think that Jesus is a part of our lives, even if it is the number one part. He is the substance of everything that you are. He is our very essence.
You know you’re on the right track in your thoughts when you find yourself seeing your marriage relationship as Christ living His life through you, expressing His love and life to your mate. Parenting becomes an expression of His life when we know that He is loving and guiding our children through us. You have a right understanding of priorities when you know He animates your activity at work.
When we know the truth, we stop thinking of Jesus holding first place in our lives and we begin thinking of Jesus being the source that animates every place in our lives. His isn’t number one. He’s the whole list!
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