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The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

morning church, you want to go ahead grab your Bibles. So you can open up the Colossians. Chapter one will be in verses 15 to 23. This morning, Colossians 115 to 23. As you’re turning there, I had a recent conversation with a member of my oil cost list and somebody I’ve spoken to many times. And he made an interesting comment, he was reading a book by a Catholic priest, actually. And he quoted this priest approvingly when he said that what you believe is really just a product of your geography. So what you believe has everything to do with where you were born, and kind of nothing more. So if you’re born in this country, you’re probably gonna leave that if you’re born in this country, you’re probably going to leave that highly disputable by the way, just as a matter of fact, the fastest growing church in the world, for example, is in Iran. So not a product of geography, that’s for sure. But it was more than just the question of whether or not that’s true, but factually, it’s the question of Is this true spiritually is this really so it doesn’t matter what you believe, just so long as you kind of have something that you believe in this seems to me to be an almost a stained glass approach to the ultimate reality, there is a light behind the glass, that light is the same and it kind of shines through and the blue stuff might be Buddhism and the red glass. Well, that’s Christianity and the yellow glasses, and on and on down the line. So that Jesus would be one color of the glass of the love the light among many, if that were so of course, that would mean we have gotten it very badly wrong here in this church, we and a lot of other fundamentalists, by the way, nothing new under the sun. This whole approach here has been around for a long time since exactly how Rome the thought of Christians, for example, we have all these gods to choose from, and you’re all fixated on this one guy like what’s the deal? In fact, the Romans were famous for calling the Christians, Atheists, because they didn’t believe in all the gods, but just this one, Jesus, but Jesus is kind of the key piece here, everything hinges on the answer to this question. Who is Jesus of Nazareth? Is he a prophet? As Islam would teach? Is he a god? Sure, but a Lesser God, maybe a lowercase g god, the way Mormonism Jehovah’s Witness would teach? Is he a great moral teacher? As progressive Christianity and even secular humanism would teach? Or is he the incarnate Son of God, co equal in glory with the Father, the Creator and Sustainer of All Things our Redeemer and Savior? That’s a very different answer to that question. Many today speak well of Jesus, but they are co opting him for political or cultural purposes. I read an article by Nicholas Kristof recently, for example, in which he said, I like Jesus more than he likes Christians, which I understand I also like Jesus more than I like Christians. I like Jesus, in part because so much of what he says seems to line up with the left. And you see his point there, of course, was I know that the left is right. And to the extent that Jesus lines up with him, I’m a fan of Jesus. Certainly that happens on the right as well, just so we’re clear. You see what’s happening there, we give Jesus a place, but just not first place. In our passage today, Paul will challenge that option. Not just to say this is a different way to think about it. But that way of thinking about Jesus among many is, is not an option. Jesus is supreme. And we have good reason to think that Jesus is first he is preeminent in all things. And Paul is going to make that point by showing us precisely who Jesus is. Look at this in three sections, who is Jesus? First of all, Jesus is creator, Jesus’s creator from verses 15 to 17. Let me read them for us. Now, the sun is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things are created things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him. And for Him, He is before all things and in Him, all things hold together. So why is Jesus first why is he preeminent? Well, because we see his supremacy in creation. In fact, he is the creator. Paul says in him all things were created, all things are created through Him and for Him. Now, there’s a lot to chew on in these few verses. So let’s dig in a little bit. Here. First, Paul says Jesus is the image of the unseen God in other Jesus makes visible, the invisible. It makes the invisible visible to humanity so that we can see who God is. John makes the same point. And in the prologue to his gospel, he says this, no one has ever seen God, right? He’s invisible. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only son who is Himself God, and is in closest relationship with the Father has revealed, has made him known has made him visible, he reveals the Father to us perfectly. So that to see him is to see God that Jesus makes the same point in speaking to Philip. And Philip says, Boy, we sure like to see the Father and Jesus says, I’ve been with you all this time. And you haven’t figured this out yet to see me is to see the Father. And that’s what the word image suggests. Image like a reflection in a mirror. If you were to walk into a room and not see me but see my reflection in a mirror you would see me as I really am with the Arsenal logo on my shirt read backwards, yes. Does that change who I am? No, not at all. You have good sense of my height, my hair color, my eyes, you know all that kind of stuff. You would see me as I actually am. And that’s what it is to see Jesus to see God as he really is. Kyle read it for us earlier. The sun is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. Not imperfect, not close to it, not a character got the exact representation of his being we can trust that as we know Jesus, we know the invisible God as well. And of course, that is not true. The founders of other religions, no one in Islam would say to see Muhammad is to know Allah as he is to see Allah certainly not. You ever prayed, thought wondered, you know, I wish that God would reveal Himself to me. Go ahead, crack open to the Gospel of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, you will see God as He is what Jesus says is what God says how Jesus acts towards sinners, is how God acts towards you. Then we come to this tricky word though. The firstborn overall creation, firstborn. Did Jesus have a birthday? I mean, in the flesh? Yes, of course he did. We just celebrated that. But the Bible seems to imply that Jesus had existed long before then, in fact that He is the eternal God. But here we get this word firstborn. And so that would imply that there was a time when he was not, which would make him a Lesser God than he was created by the Father. It would seem This is the Colossian heresy, by the way, that Jesus is a Lesser God. And of course, a heresy that is common today again, among Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and whatnot. But the word forced the firstborn means so much more than that. I mean, we miss it because you know, firstborn for us means the one who was born first. Charisse is my firstborn. Not real complicated, right? 2008 comes before 2011. Firstborn meant something else not that long ago, even because, like I just saw one of my financial statements recently. And if Amy and I were to perish, untimely, it says quite clearly 20% goes to all five of them. That’s not how it used to work, right? Firstborn used to get the house and the retirement. Firstborn son anyway, so Callum gets it all. And then you know,
he’ll just hopefully, if he’s kind satisfied enough to bribe worthless suitors to marry the rest of them. You’ve read Pride and Prejudice. You know how this goes. So firstborn meant air, the one who gets it all, but even then that seems like he could still have been born. But this word that’s being translated as firstborn means even more than it really means preeminence first, which may mean first in time, but could also mean first in rank. In fact, the word refers to rank unless it’s used in a context where birth is being talked about specifically which it isn’t here. Similar idea, Psalm 89, verse 27, we read this, I will appoint him to be my firstborn. Well, that’s weird. We don’t appoint people to be the firstborn because that’s not what it means. To me. It’s pre eminent, I will point them to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth, and that is Jesus pre eminent. He does come first, both in rank and in time, before time, Christ was, Christ always has been we said this in the Athanasian Creed near the end of last year when we were reciting it. It is wrong to say There once was a time when he was not because he has always been before creation, Jesus stood in the presence of the Creator, He is the Creator, He was the word that was spoken forth that brought creation into existence, which is why all things are created through him. So he’s first in time, but he is first in rank as well. He is supreme over all creation. That’s what it means for him to be the firstborn. And why does Paul think he’s supreme over creation so that he would call him firstborn? Well, because all things were created in him. Again, John, chapter one, John says nothing was created that was not created through Him. So anything that exists apart from the eternal God, Jesus was created through Him creation owes its existence, its unity, its meaning to him. And thus it belongs to him, you make something, it’s yours. That’s how it works. You fix a sandwich, you put it in the fridge while you go out, mow the lawn or something, you come back, somebody ate that sandwich, you got issues, right? Because that was yours. Why? Because you made it. That’s how it works. Well, all things were made by Him. All things, not just visible things by not just physical creation, but the invisible things as well. And he mentioned thrones and powers and rulers and authorities is are almost certainly classes of angels. You want me to talk more about that? I can’t. The Bible doesn’t give us a whole lot of information about this. But this is what we’re talking about. Okay, angelic intermediaries, angelic beings, the very intermediaries that the Colossian heretics are saying we need to placate to get right with God. So we need to deal with these thrones and rulers and powers. And third, we’re gonna get all the way to the throne of God Himself. We got to pass through all these other rooms. But if Jesus made them all, well, then they all belong to Him. So why not cut the line and go straight to the source? Because Jesus is supreme? Now I know we might chuckle at the thought of placating angelic beings. Today, we’re not that superstitious. We’re just a little suspicious these days. But don’t we also serve lesser gods than Christ? Don’t we? Haven’t you? Haven’t you participated in meaningless rites that accomplish nothing for your salvation, the amount of time and money that we spend to look a certain way. The willingness to sacrifice family and even faith on the altar of career, how quickly were willing to abandon our scruples, so that we fit in with a crowd. All this serving lesser gods should not be this way. We should serve Jesus wholeheartedly, and single mindedly why because he alone is supreme. All things created in Him, through Him, and all things created for him as well. Meaning he is the end and purpose of creation. We might say that all creation is summed up in him. Here’s the way Professor mu will put it. He says all of creation is meant to serve his will, to contribute to his glory. Their whole being willingly or unwillingly moves to him, whether as his blissful servants they shall be as it were, his throne, or as his stricken enemies, his footstool, all things exist. We exist you and I exist for His glory. He is verse 17. before all things, I love that translation, by the way, because it preserves the ambiguity here before. We’re talking time are we talking rank? Yes, exactly. Before all things. Don’t miss the irony in all this, this exalted language I’ve been using about Jesus here. Paul is asserting the supremacy and pre existence of a man who died in Palestine a few decades earlier. Isn’t that shocking when you consider it? But it makes sense because this man born in four BCE is the pre existent God. The one who was laid in the tomb is the one who even now reigns triumphantly in glory at the right hand of the Father. In fact, he has to be both God and man. In order to do what he came to do is why theology matters why we got to make sure we learn this stuff was Anselm, who wrote the book kudos, Homer. Why did God become man? Because he said it simply only a human can pay humanity’s debt. But only God can pay it an infinite debt. So it had to be the guy Not only the God man could do what Jesus came to do. What was that? Exactly? Let’s keep reading verses 18 to 20. Jesus’s creator, yes, Jesus is also savior. Here it is. And he is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that an everything he might have the supremacy, For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth, or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross. So Jesus is first in creation, he is first in the church as well. And then Paul says the church is his body. So he is the head of his body, the church, those whom He has saved. Now, that word body is rich, I could do a whole series on what it means that we are the body of Christ. But let’s just draw out a few implications at least first, it means that the church the body of Christ is a living organism. The building is not the church, the building is where the church gathers, you do not go to church, you are the church. And that’s an important distinction for us to keep. But then also, if we’re his body, then that means we are the means by which Jesus carries out his purposes in this world. You know how this works, because it happens in your own life. You’re watching the Jacksonville Jaguars come back last night, and somewhere in the middle of the fourth quarter, you think I’m thirsty. And so your head, tells your body to get up and go to the refrigerator, and crackers, sparkling water. Your body carries out what your brain which is in your head, I Googled this, I know this is how it works. Okay, what your brain tells it to do, Jesus is our head, WE DO what He tells us to do, we carry out his purposes in this world. But another piece of this, then is that we are vitally connected to him. Man, our union with Christ is so strong that Paul could say we are members of his very body. All of that, of course, means we are also members of one another. We are vitally connected to each other as well, which means the church should be this place of unity, under the direction of Christ. We are not always that are we so often disunited, and severed from our head as we go about our own business? Why is he our head? Well, because he is the beginning. First in time, first and rank, he’s the alpha, and he is the first born from the dead. And here especially meaning time, he was the first one raised to resurrection life. And so in essence than he is the founder of a new humanity who share in that life even now, sharing that life. You don’t need to wait to be resurrected to experience resurrection life, John 316, you might have heard of this one, God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have currently eternal life. John 17, Jesus says, This is eternal life that they know you and Jesus, the one whom you sent. And so as a result, being the founder of this new humanity of those who experienced resurrection life, he gets the supremacy. How could he not Philippians two makes this point exactly because of what he did. This is what he gets, he did not consider quality of gods and to use his own advantage he made himself nothing he took on human flesh was obedient, even to death, even to death on a cross.
Therefore, as a result of that, God exalted him to the highest place and given the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Now we get the explanation of how that happened. Because God’s fullness, dwelt in Him. Verse 19, dwelt in Him took up residence in him. This is not a summer home that you visit, sometimes this is where you live, the fullness of God lives in Christ. And not only that, it is all the fullness of God, which is a, an explicit rebuttal of the clash and heresy. Paul does not use the word fullness in this way a lot. He is almost certainly using the language of the clash and heretics against them. Their idea would be of this fullness, everybody gets a little chunk all of these other angels and beings that we’re supposed to talk to and everything like that know, all the fullness dwells in Jesus. And then because he’s got the right stuff, so to speak, he is pleased God is pleased to reconcile all things through Jesus and not through any of these intermediaries, reconciling all things the seen and the unseen Earth and In heaven, God brings them all under his lordship in Christ. In Christ, God restores the chaos of fallen creation to its original purpose. That is, he takes us from chaos back to Cosmos order. It’s kind of Llosa said the universe has been reconciled and that Heaven and Earth had been brought back into their divinely created and determined order. How does Jesus do this? by making peace through his blood shed on the cross? Now that word peace means a lot of different things. What nuance are we talking about here? Well, here and speaking to the classrooms, especially when they heard the word peace, they would think of the Pax Romana, which you have possibly heard of before. This is the piece that the Roman Empire imposed on its population. So it’s not necessarily a piece of everyone having friendly disposition towards everyone else. It was a piece of somebody had a not friendly disposition toward the Romans, they would get killed. And that was the end of it. And now we have peace again. Isn’t that wonderful? So there is this sense of subduing hostile forces. I was a high school teacher for seven years, I know a little something about subduing hostile forces, the number of times you have to look out of your classroom and say, Look, we can do this the easy way. Or we can do this the other way. That’s what Jesus is doing here, too. There is this peace, that Jesus offers this peace that Jesus came to establish, and that peace may be in the words of EFA, Bruce, freely accepted or compulsorily, in post, maybe raises questions for us might raise question for you, why must Jesus impose this peace? I don’t want to God who acts like Rome, frankly, I’m sure you don’t either. The reason being, when it comes to these spiritual realities, there can be no peace at all, otherwise. We talked about this a lot in our series that we did this fall, that God is, in essence, declaring war on war, doing violence to violence, he has got to subdue hostile forces, or else this world will always be what this world is now filled with evil and suffering. So Paul has been speaking in cosmic terms here, he’s reconciled all things, even the stuff in the heavenlies. But all of a sudden, this conversation is starting to feel more personal, isn’t it? As if there’s a choice before you specifically and that is where Paul goes next Jesus and creator Jesus as Savior, but Jesus is your savior, verses 21 to 23. Like I keep reading, Once you were alienated from God, and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ, physical body through death, to present you wholly in his sight, without blemish, and free from accusation if you continue in your face, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the Gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I Paul had become a servant. We need a savior, a personal Savior, because what Paul says here is true of all of us. We were once alienated from God, and enemies of him because of our evil behavior. This might not be how you see yourself. You might resent Paul’s saying this about you. Now, you might resent my saying this about you even now, you might be sitting there thinking, I’m pretty good. Actually, I suspect God is okay with me. You would not be the first person in history. Just think that way. Lady Huntington was a famous benefactress of the first Great Awakening of men like Wesley and Whitfield, she invited one of her friends, the Duchess of Buckingham to hear Whitfield preach and she received this reply from the Duchess of Buckingham, it is monstrous to be told that you have a heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on the earth. This is highly offensive and insulting, and I cannot but wonder that your ladyship should relish any sentiments so much at variance with rank and good breeding. It is very much our attitude today, isn’t it? That it is highly offensive to be told what is obvious to everyone who knows you? You are a sinner. Plain and simple. I could prove this because if we were to bring you up front here, and to read out loud before all your friends and families, every deed you’ve ever done, and every word you’ve ever spoken and every thought you’ve ever thought we would all recoil in horror before you and you know That’s true. And so God ought to recoil in horror. And in one sense does before our sin but in another much more important sense. He draws near, and reconciles us to himself by Christ’s death. The death of his physical body important because it means he identified with us so that he could be that substitute the fullness of God dwelt in the flesh, to bear our punishment that’s Anselm, again had to be God and man, he did this to present you holy in his sight, without blemish, free from accusation. These are remarkable claims, by the way, because you are unholy blemished and rightly accused. But not in God’s sight. Not if you are in Christ, how can that be? Because Jesus took our place, because he bore God’s wrath so that we could take his place. So that when God looks on us, he sees the perfection of Christ in us when we trust in Christ, not in lesser gods not in ourselves, that faith that trust is credited to us as righteousness. Christ’s righteousness. I’ve shared this before. This is like the time when my buddy was a teacher had two students and the one guy photocopied his friend’s homework. And then just wrote his name on the top, like a terrible way to cheat, right, exactly what we do as Christians. We turn in Christ’s photocopy life. And God goes, you know, you just wrote your name at the top right? And I go, yes, it’s awesome. Welcome. If, if this comes with a condition, that’s important, if we continue in that faith, established and firm, meaning there’s a good foundation, and there’s good construction built on the foundation, not abandoning our Gospel hope, because there is a danger always an easy believe ism, cheap grace of that technically accurate, but highly misleading phrase, once saved, always saved, as if a one time prayer were enough. We know that the world is full of our churches are full of people who profess Christ. But if you met them outside of church, you would have no idea that they are Christians. You heard somebody say once if you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? That’s the question that’s being asked here like to say that we’ve been converted is to say something as radical as I was just run over by a Mack truck on the way into church today. And you’re gonna look at the person and go, really because like, you don’t even have a hair out of place. Like I would expect you to look different if spiritually, you just been run over by a Mack truck. These are words especially for the clashes, of course, because the class shins have come to the conclusion that the gospel is not good enough. And they want to ensure their salvation by earning it and talking to some angels, we’re gonna help them out. This is a danger for us to like, we love Jesus, what’s not to like about Jesus, he’s a good guy, for sure. But when trouble hits, we so quickly turn to
gurus, politicians, our friends, trust in our achievements. This is why we keep preaching the gospel every week, because the gospel is where our hope lies. And it is verse 23, the same gospel that Paul preached. I love that reminder, by the way, you could draw straight front line from you all way back to Paul and the apostles and ultimately to Jesus, a person who preached the gospel you heard it from someone heard it from someone heard it from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from Jesus, ultimately, that is the gospel that we proclaim. But I love this again, verse 23. Paul is not just a a servant of the gospel, I think he brings himself up here because he is also a picture of the gospel. I remember those old decades ago, Hair Club for Men commercials. I’m not just the president. I’m also a client. That’s kind of Paul I’m not just gonna pass on also the chief of all sinners who was himself saved by grace. This is Paul’s life story. Was he an enemy of God? Yeah. When he was complicit in the murder of Christians, I would say so but God reconciled him to Himself through Christ. And Paul was on the way to Damascus knocked over and struck blind lying in the dirt on that road hearing from the resurrected Christ him self as a result. Paul’s hold Life changed. There’s no doubt to whom he belonged by faith. Like when Paul said, I got run over by a Mack truck on the way to Damascus, people said, Sure, I can see the tire tread hits right there. What was true of Paul to be true of us, they should see the tire treads on us too. If we truly believe Jesus is first Our lives should change. We truly believe that He is Creator and Sustainer and Redeemer, your and my Savior. So how should it change? As we close, pretty simple main idea, probably came up with it on your own. put Jesus first in your life. Because he is first put Jesus first in your life. Let him take his rightful place, supreme in every facet of your life, every facet, we’re gonna look at five areas just briefly here, just to get you started about thinking about what this means. First, put Jesus first make Jesus supreme in your praise in your praise. If this passage is true, as it undoubtedly is, Jesus deserves our unceasing worship, we should give him the name above all names and exalt them to the highest place in our own hearts and lives. With John the Baptist saying He must increase, I must decrease. So here’s my challenge for you on this note, sometime this week, spend 10 minutes only praising God in prayer. Not listening to worship music. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Only praising God in prayer. Why? Because there are a lot of other elements to prayer that are really important confession, thanksgiving, supplication. But all of those can get really self centered really quickly. You can say, confession is when you talk about my sins. Thanksgiving is when you talk about my blessing. supplication is when you talk about my knees, but worship, adoration. That’s when you talk about God. And so we so easily slip into a god you’re so holy, and I’m not Oops, that was confession. Right? Try 10 minutes, just praise just praise this week. But Jesus first in your praise. Second, put Jesus first make Jesus supreme in your presence, presence. Here’s what I mean by that. Jesus created all things, sustains all things, reconciled all things to himself and makes himself available to you. So that you can experience His presence, face to face as it were, well, why wouldn’t you take him up on that? The Creator of all things wants to talk to you talk to him. I’m talking here, of course, about private worship, the spiritual disciplines, especially reading the word when God speaks to us, and then praying when we respond to God. Because this is what you do, when you love someone, you spend time in their presence, I could not possibly claim that I love Amy above all other humans and check in with her once a week. Mostly to talk about my needs. If she could take care of those please. Not gonna be good marriage, right? No way. Same here. Same here, spend focused time, delighting in the presence of God. Third, put Jesus first make Jesus supreme in your passions. What I mean by this is that your love for Jesus ought to radiate out from you. You should be glowing all the time. Like people are when they’re first in love, and they don’t shut up about the person they’re in love with, right? That’s how we should be with Jesus. Why? Because you talk about what you love. You do you talk about what you love. I saw this recently, one of my brothers has texted the other three brothers at least six times in the last few weeks encouraging us to watch a particular TV show that he thinks is amazing. He won’t shut up about it. And we keep politely ignoring him. Which is fine because I don’t shut up about Jesus on the thread and they politely ignore me as well. So you know, come up and all of that. Do you talk about Jesus? Because you love him? Do people know this? Everybody you know, know that Jesus is first in your life. So that if somebody were to ask your kids, what’s your dad about? Jesus, I don’t even know what he does. All he ever talks about is Jesus. Do people know he’s first? Fourth, put Jesus first make Jesus supreme in your priorities. What matters most to him? Should matter most to you. This is the law It’s prayer evaluation, and does your life begin with our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, Your will be done. Maybe then we can talk about me. Because his priorities are your priorities, how you spend your time. And money should show that Jesus is first in your life. Like Jesus gets to SET set the schedule, and he sets the budget and he sets the values and the mission of your household and your life. You put those two together, by the way, your passions and your priorities means Jesus should be first, everywhere. So I want you to do this this week, I cannot do this work for you. Because you are you and I am not you. You need to go home and think about what would it look like if Jesus were first in my marriage? And in my parenting? If he was first when I showed up to work each day, he was first in my ministry? Well, of course he’s first my No, no, no, no, no, you can do ministry for all sorts of reasons what it look like if Jesus was first in your ministry, and in your leisure time. And in your media consumption, movies, and music, social media, whatever it is, in the food, you prepare, like these are big questions. Questions, you got to work out this way. We have community groups, by the way, guess what question you’ll be discussing and community group this week. Because you got to sit down and think about this, and talk about this for yourself and for your household. What would it look like if Jesus were really first? And then lastly, fifth, put Jesus first, make Jesus supreme in your piece? In your piece, this is the question of questions, is it not? Are you at peace with Jesus? He has made a way, the only way. In fact, this has nothing to do with your geography or the culture in which you were raised. Jesus alone is God and He has made a way the only way by his blood, for you to be at peace with God, have you bow your head and bencher nee before him. Because there is no better moment than right now to put him first. To confess your sin, acknowledge your dependence on him, and plead nothing but his grace. And if you do that, he will save you. These words can be true of you. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body, through death. He is the Savior, He is your Savior. He is the Creator, He is first He is before all things he is supreme. So put him first in your life today. Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that you are first, that you are before all things you are the eternal God. You are the creator of all things visible and invisible on Earth, and in heaven. You are the word that was spoken the agent of creation. You are the sustainer of all things, the exact representation of God and the radiance of His glory. You are our reconciler and Redeemer, our Savior, and friend. You are Lord and Master and teacher. And we worship you now.
And we pray, Lord, that this worship would not be lip service that we offer one hour a week on Sunday mornings, but that it would mark our every breath, or every moment of every day, that you would be first in our lives. And that everyone who knows us would know that and that you will be glorified in us as a result and that your name and glory would go forth as a result. That is our prayer Lord, Amen.

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