Paul W Burton
Luke 10: 38-42
2 Samuel 6: 10, 11
John 12: 1-3
In Colossians 1: 18, we have the expression, “that he” - that is, the Lord Jesus - “might have the first place in all things”. The Lord Jesus has the perfect right to the first place in our lives. I would like to say a few words about Him having the first place. I think it is something that can sometimes be testing and difficult but He is the One who has bought us by suffering on the cross and shedding His blood for us. To be a Christian involves giving the Lord Jesus the first place. Christianity is not just something that we can add on to our lives as they are. Coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour must fundamentally change our lives, so that we no longer live to ourselves but we live to the One who died for us.
In Luke’s gospel we have the example in Mary of one who was giving the Lord the first place. She was sitting at His feet, listening to His word. Giving the Lord the first place would be involved in how we start our day; to start it in prayer, and in sitting at the Lord’s feet to hear His word. It would involve how we would end the day, and how we would live our lives through the day. So that, as we go about our lives here, we do all things to the Lord and for His glory. Even if we have the privilege of doing something for His service, it must never be at the expense of sitting at His feet and listening to His word. One of the most important things in our lives as believers is to spend time with the Lord listening to His word.
Now I want to speak of the Lord having His first place in our households. In the book of Samuel we read of the ark of Jehovah entering the house of Obed-Edom. The ark of Jehovah would speak to us of the Lord Jesus. The ark had previously spent twenty years in another house and the scripture does not saying anything about the effect that the ark had in that house over those twenty years. But it was in the house of Obed-Edom for three months and it says, “Jehovah blessed Obed-Edom and all his household”. I think it would suggest that the ark - or for us the Lord Jesus - had the first place in that house. We spoke over the weekend about household baptism and I think the exercise of household baptism, and the blessing and gain of it, would involve giving the Lord Jesus the first place in our households. So that whatever that household has been is changed as the head of the house accepts the claims of the Lord Jesus, with the desire that it should be a Christian household. The whole household, including the children, would thus be held in relation to the claims of the Lord Jesus. And God would bless such a household.
In John chapter 12 we have an example of the Lord Jesus having the first place in a local company. In Bethany there were those who made Him a supper. They desired that the Lord might have the first, and most glorious, place, amongst them. So that every time we come together it would be with the desire that the Lord Jesus might have the first place amongst us, and that He might be glorified through any service rendered to Him. We will come into blessing as our objective is to give Him the first place. May the Lord have His first place with us, for His Name’s sake.
15th February 2010