Don’t Put Jesus First This Year

I have one piece of advice for you as we start out this New Year:
Don’t put Jesus first this year.

Yes, you read that correctly. Before you label me a heretic, let me explain.

I imagine that many of you are going through a similar process as me right now of setting and resetting your priorities. Personally, I love this time of year. I’m a very goal-oriented individual and I’ve found that reprioritizing and recalibrating your life is an indispensable activity if you really want to actualize your potential.

And here’s what it usually looks like. We start by putting Jesus at the top. Then family. Then maybe career. And so on. So our priorities look something like this:

1. Jesus/God
2. Family
3. Career

Looks good. However I’ve found that this isn’t very effective when you get down to the grind of everyday life. For example, what does it even mean to put Jesus before my family? Do I ignore my family to spend more time with Jesus? Or with your career, do you stop working to put Jesus first?

The essential problem with this approach is that it segregates the different priorities of life. You end up removing Jesus from where you spend the majority of your time and putting Him on an island by Himself. The biggest island maybe, but an island nonetheless.

I don’t think this is the way it was ever supposed to work. Colossians 1:15-20 repeatedly tells us that Jesus is first before and over everything. But it also says that all things were created through and for Him. That in Him all things hold together. That the goal of the cross was to reconcile all things to Himself.

So Jesus is first. He is first in order. He is first in importance. But He is so because He is the center of everything.

That’s what He should be in your life. And consequently, the thing that is at the center of your life is the thing that is ultimately first in your life.

This year, instead of worrying about putting Jesus first in your life, what if you concentrated on making Him the center of every area of your life? Not just the top priority in front of every other priority, but the top priority in every priority?

Not Jesus, then my family. But Jesus in my family.
Not Jesus, then my career. But Jesus in my career.

We’d probably be a lot more successful in actually keeping Jesus at the top spot on our list. And we’d be much more likely to do an exponentially greater job at accomplishing our other goals and maintaining our priorities.

Read more from Steven here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 

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