Colossians 1:15-23 – Being Second

Read Colossians 1:15-23

trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd plaace

Jesus is first in everything. We read that in today’s passage along with a list of the attributes that make Jesus supreme. That’s a great word, “supreme.” It conjures up all sorts of images for us in our society from a pizza loaded with toppings to a singer from a popular girl group “back in the day.” For our purposes, let’s take Google’s definition, “superior to all others.” That’s who Jesus is.

Are you content being in second place? There is so much focus on being the “best” or #1, especially for sports teams. As you may already know, I’m a huge Green Bay Packers fan. You’ll almost always see someone in the crowd with a big foam finger signifying the coveted “#1”. We’re driven, maybe even pushed, into striving for the top position of whatever group or association we’re part of. Why is that? Don’t we know who is truly supreme?

There are so many nuggets in this passage reminding us who Jesus is. Every single example only makes me love Jesus more. I’m delighted to take second place with Jesus in first! Did Paul remind you of an aspect of Jesus you hadn’t thought about in a while? Can you think of a characteristic of Jesus you could add to Paul’s list?

Most striking to me today was that “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” Powerful! For a moment in time, God revealed himself in human form. He walked with us. He taught us. He died for us. The world was introduced to our loving God as a servant, creator, head of the church, reconciler, peacemaker, and our sacrifice.

When I see people struggling or drifting farther and farther away from God, it is helpful to remember “he holds all creation together.” Because of what Jesus has already done for us, we can have hope. Being second is okay so long as we’re keeping our eyes on who is number one. “As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” Let those words sit with you for a moment. The miracle of what happens in that moment of standing before God is hard to describe.

Paul knew the Colossians (and us) would have trouble staying focused. Any Christ follower will tell you that the road of faith can be bumpy. The evil one likes to inject distractions and lies to mess with our heads. Paul’s words here are profound. “Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.” That tells me we need to keep the Good News in our minds continuously.

When I picture drifting away, I see a boat secured by a rope to a dock port. Without that rope, the boat would drift out to the middle of the lake unattended. Lost. Alone. For us, our rope is Jesus. He keeps us connected. He is the one responsible for reconciling us back to God. Left to our own devices, we would drift away, unaware of the danger.

How did this passage speak to your heart today? Are you in a pattern of drifting away from God or are you pleased to be in second place, enjoying each moment of being reconciled to the Father?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for never leaving me or letting me drift too far. I am beginning to understand my limitations and ask you to forgive me for those time when I put other things ahead of my devotion to you. Help me to stay safe and secure in your loving arms. Use me to help others recognize their need for you in their lives and to stop trying to take your place. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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