Where to Start
World ViewPastor Jerry Gillis - May 22, 2016
Perhaps the best way for you to understand your place in the world is to see it as Jesus does.
Community Group Study Notes
- What are some symptoms of a self-centered world view?
- How do you know if Jesus is at the center of how you view the world?
- If you embrace Jesus as the center of how you view the world, how will that change the way you live? How will it change the way you share the Gospel with someone?
For in him all things were 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. (Colossians 1:16)
So in a moment we'll be in the New Testament book of Colossians, but prior to that, I wonder if you guys are familiar with this company in Arizona that is basically revolutionizing the world travel industry. And by revolutionizing, I mean revolutionizing. Because it's really kind of out of this world travel and they're scheduled to start this in 2017.
Let me tell you what they're going to do. So, this company has a kind of a giant helium-filled balloon, not a balloon just like a normal one, but I mean like really reinforced kind of giant helium-filled balloon that has a 10,000 pound capsule that it will be elevating in which passengers can ride all the way into the stratosphere over 100,000 feet high. So think about cruising altitude of a plane at 30,000 or 35,000 feet, right? You're really high, you're like above the clouds. Triple that. That's what this helium balloon is going to do and they're offering it now to people that you can ride in this and you're inside of this capsule that has paneled windows so that you're able to see from space, the earth. You can see a portion of the earth from space in the stratosphere. It takes about four to five hours from launch to touchdown, and when you come down, you could be anywhere from three to four hundred miles different from where you started, but they do send a helicopter for you, so you're not on your own. You don't have to walk back, right? And all this can be yours for $75,000. Yeah. I mean, you can imagine it would be really expensive, I'm sure.
So the name of this company that's offering this, and they're trying to launch literally in late 2017. The name of this company is World View Enterprises, that's the name of the company. In fact, I'll show you a little bit of their rendering of some of what happens on this particular ride. Take a look at the screens.
Alright, is that awesome or what? I mean, that's just totally cool. How many people, let's just say it was free. Let's just say you won some prize or whatever, and it was free and you could go on this for free. How many of you legitimately, do not lie, Jesus is watching, how many of you legitimately would get on that bad boy? Raise your hand. Wow. How many of you would say, I'm not getting in a balloon and going to space, raise your hand. All right, that's a lot of you. Oh man. Put me in the first group. But do not tell my insurance carrier. They would be wigging out and so I'm not going to tell them I'm scheduled to go in October. It's a joke, I'm not, really, as far as you know. I'm not going to do that.
So this group, World View Enterprises, they when one of the executives or principals of the company was asked about the name of the company, he actually said that they chose this name world view because of the psychology that surrounds it. In other words, there is something that this name means, this idea of world view that people use that he wanted to capture and grab hold of. In fact, when I kind of perused their website a little bit, I saw as I was looking, I saw one of their marketing slogans and I want you to see it. It says this: Perhaps the best way to understand your place in the world is to see it. That's an interesting marketing slogan, in fact it's a very good one. They obviously had some professionals that were working on that and that's a really good marketing slogan. Perhaps the best way to understand your place in the world is to see it.
Now, I don't know if this is World View Enterprises' world view, but if it happens to be, then I can learn somethings about world view that's probably common to most world views, and it's this. That that is a world view that is centered on me. You see the target of this particular marketing slogan, and the audience for this marketing slogan and the subject for this marketing slogan is me. Is you. In other words, if I have a chance to see the world, then I can make a determination about what I think my place is in the world. Did you hear that? I, me or I, my. That's ultimately what this is. Now, I'm not suggesting this is their world view, I don't know. It may just be they might just have gone this is a really good marketing slogan and we need some paying customers in 2017, and that's cool. But if that is a marketing slogan, then it is one that is inherently centered on self.
Now here's the thing. Everyone has a world view. Everyone has a way in which they view the world. The lens through which you look at the world and you make sense of it. And this is what you say reality is, based on how you view the world. Now what I would suggest to you is that our world views can be influenced by a bunch of different things. It can be influenced by you know, our environment. It can be influenced by our culture, it can be influenced by our education, it can be influenced by our relationships. It can be influenced by our interests.
But at the end of the day, I have a tendency to think that most people's world view, the way that they, the lens through which they look at the world is generally speaking, centered on self. I think most people's world view is centered on self. Now there's a problem with that because when our world views are centered on self it means that our world view is actually not cohesive, that it's mostly piecemeal, that it's not holistic, and that it doesn't necessarily have to make sense. In reality, all it has to do is make sense to what I like. In other words, this is the way I want to see the world therefore this is the way I see the world. Why? Because I am the center of what my world view is. How I want to see the world, how I want the world to be, what suits by interest in the world, that's often, I think, how most people construct their version of reality.
It's why people want to tell you all the time the truth is relative. That there is no such thing as absolute or objective truth because truth is really whatever you decide that it is. In other words, when they say things like this, well that's his truth, that's her truth. I'm sorry, truth is truth period. That's what truth is by definition. It's either true or it's not true. There is no subjectivity when you say that's his truth or that's her truth. It's actually true or it's not true. Now there's some ways of applying that that we could talk about and discuss that I won't get into now, but I think that most people have a world view that is centered on self.
Now you can imagine that what I want to do today when we start a series on world view, is I want to kind of open up a new vista and suggest to you a different way of viewing the world, and a different way of seeing how we make sense of reality and how objective that looks. I want to center you on a God-centered world view. I think that's important because I have an increasing concern in the western civilization, church, that we are continuing to kind of move away from an idea of a God-centered world view as opposed to a self-centered, a man or a woman centered world view.
And so, there's a few things that actually, the reason that I come to this conclusion is because the authors of Scripture came to this conclusion. You see, they had actual fundamental foundational elements to creating a world view that was centered in the nature of who God is and that is how they began to see the world. That's how they wrote by the inspiration of the Spirit to us. It's how they conducted their lives because they had God at the center, and not self at the center.
And so, there's a few things actually that are foundational to a God-centered world view and I'm going to give you just a couple real quick and I'm going to make them fast, alright? The first one is this: it's that we must believe by faith, that God exists. If you want to have a God-centered world view, you have to understand that everyone has a world view, whether you know it or not, and you have a choice as to what you want at the center, God or no God. Actually though, your choice of having no God is actually choosing to have yourself as god in making all the determinations about what the world should and shouldn't be. So, we must by faith believe that God exists.
In fact, the writer of Hebrews in chapter number eleven verse number said this: Without faith it's impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. So God either is or God is not, and that's how, a part of how we foundationally structure a world view. We must, by faith believe that God exists.
But secondly, we must by faith believe that God created all things. This is foundational to a world view, to making sense of the world, and I'm staying kind of at a general level but I'm going to get specific in just a moment. But the writer of Hebrews in chapter eleven in verse number three actually says this, it says that: By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. In other worlds, this is where Latin phrase ex nihilo that some of the ancients used, which means out of nothing. So here's what happened. God, who pre-existed everything stepped out into nothing and made everything that we see. That's what happened. Now, there can be debate and rightly so among people who truly believe the Bible and want to understand what it's talking about and what it's not talking about, about how long that took or the processes that were involved in that time. But whatever that looks like, here's what we do know. That God himself is the One who is the originator of all things being made, that is God creating and that is foundational to a right view of the world.
Let me give you a third foundational element, it's this: We must believe, by faith, that Jesus Christ is God made visible. This is super important, because this takes us from the realm of theoretical, because everybody's got a unique definition of God it seems, some people because they are at the center actually talk about a God that is created in their own image, and as a result have built a world view that is actually still centered on themselves, but has created a god of their own desires and of their own imagination. This is where we have to get more specific, because not only do we believe that God exists, not only do we believe that God created all things, but we believe that Jesus Christ is God made visible. This starts to laser in on what it means to have a Christian world view. A genuinely God-centered world view.
Listen to what the writer of Colossians, Paul says in chapter one verse fifteen. He says: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were 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. Here's why I mentioned this passage to us, it's imperative for us to understand our world view. In other words, the lens through which we see the world that we live in and make sense of its reality. We cannot stay just at the level of an undefined God because most people are by the way, most people aren't atheists, but many people have created a god of their own mind, a god that they want to be, as opposed to the God who has revealed himself specifically in the person of Jesus. And for us to actually have a world view that makes sense, it has to start with Jesus, because oftentimes we ask the question like, where do you start with this whole idea of a world view? Where do you even begin? Well, where you begin is you begin with God and how God has manifestly made himself known.
You see, once you get to Jesus, here's what happens. All of those foundational elements that we just talked about, those three foundational elements, they all make sense in Christ. For instance, here's the first thing I want you to notice: that God's existence is expressed in Jesus. God's existence, right when we said foundationally we've got to believe that God exists, well here's what we know. God's existence has been expressed in Jesus. Listen again to Colossians chapter one verse fifteen, says: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. And then in verse seventeen it says: He is before all things.... In other words, Jesus is not created, Jesus has always been. He is before all things, he is the image of the invisible God made visible. He has always been.
Some of you are going, wait a minute? Didn't Jesus show up as a baby in Bethlehem? Wasn't that the first time? No, no, no, no. Jesus has always been, and we'll show you that in just a few minutes.
We have to understand God as he's revealed himself as Father, as Son, and as Spirit. And in the understanding of the nature of that Godhead we are beginning to get to know God and the way that God has made the world and how God has shown himself in visible presence in Jesus. He is God made visible. He expresses God to us.
But secondly, we also know that all things were created through Jesus. Remember we said that foundationally we have to believe by faith that God created all things. Well, all things are actually created through Jesus. Listen again to Colossians 1 verse 16: For in Jesus all things were created. How's that for clear? Whether things in heaven or on earth, visible or invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
This is important for us to understand because by the way, just as an aside, what I'm giving to you right now that you're writing down, this isn't rocket science. I am stealing it and I'm stealing it straight from the Bible. Every good preacher of the gospel is a plagiarist. Every bad preacher of the bible is not a plagiarist. If people get concerned who are communicators and preachers of the gospel, if they get concerned more with the idea that I want to just give you, you know, Jerry's life lessons in twenty-five minutes or whatever, man you've got better things to do than that. I've got better things to do than that. I want to know what God said. I want to know what God's revealed about himself. That's the most important thing and frankly, that's the only thing that's going to help us. So what you're seeing is me basically reciting back to you what the Scripture is teaching us about the nature of God and how that informs our world view with Jesus at the center. All things have been created through Jesus.
Thirdly, all things have been created for him. You see, this gets to the idea of Jesus' Lordship. Look at what it says in the end of verse number sixteen: ...all things have been created through him and for him. So in other words, everything has been created through his existence, by his own hand, and they have been created to serve him for him because he is not only Creator but he's Lord over everything. This is important for us to remember because if we are gathering up a world view with Jesus at the center we have to understand what it looks like.
Lastly, we need to remember that all things are held together by Jesus. All things are held together by Jesus. Look in verse number seventeen, it says: He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Listen to this, not only does Jesus, as the Creator, that has been, everything has been created through him and for him, not only is that the case, but he holds all things together in all created fields. Everything that has been made, he is holding all of that together, because he is the architect of how this has all been done. But he is also holding together the way in which we view the world when we place him at the center. He himself is objective reality, so that when we keep him at the center and we view the world through him we are actually seeing the world as it is supposed to be seen, and our world view is now held together by Jesus. Whenever our world views are outside of Jesus, they are disjointed and piecemeal, non-cohesive, non-holistic and often don't make any sense except to us. But when we put Jesus at the center of our world view, now everything is actually held together, not only in the universe but in our heads and in our hearts and in our world. This is important for us from an understanding of world view.
Now you remember a moment ago I talked about that slogan from the website, the World View Enterprises website, right? When they said you know, perhaps the best way for us to find, to understand our place in our world is to see it, right? And I said well, that's kind of centered on self. Well, we can fix that. We can fix it with three words. Perhaps the best way to understand your place in the world is to see it as Jesus does. Perhaps the best way to find your place in this world, or to understand your place in this world, is to see it as Jesus does.
Now here's the thing. I don't want you to miss this. If we're going to see the world as Jesus sees it, then we have to think like Jesus thinks. Because ultimately if we don't think like Jesus thinks, then we don't do like Jesus does and we don't see like Jesus sees. We actually have to think like Jesus thinks. Now for some of us, you're going I've never really thought about that.
You know, my family is a funny, we're kind of a story-telling family. My dad, you know, and others in our family have been that way a long time. And often at Christmas we'll do some funny things, like we like to do this 'best of' lists or like top ten lists or whatever, you know where we all come up with our opinions about, you know, top ten greatest baseball teams that have ever played, ever, you know. Or you know, top ten greatest baseball, a lot of it has to do with baseball. But it also goes into music and into all kinds of stuff, you know, top ten greatest presidents, top ten you know, best bands of all time. If you were creating your own festival and one band, who's living today could close the festival and you had to just make it ring the bell, you know, who would that be? And so we argue about all that, and I really love hearing all of their answers to see, you know, how poorly they do in comparison to me, but I like listening to them, you know because I just want to hear them and hear how wrong they are until they can hear how right I am, right? This is just what we do in my family. My sons join in sometimes and we do these kinds of things. Greatest of all time, who's the greatest point guard in the history of basketball? Jordan was a two-guard, he wasn't a point, so stop.
Anyway, so we argue about all this stuff, right? Well, here's what I did. I asked the internet one of my questions, by the way, the internet is discipling some of you, and you probably need to get a better discipler. The internet does not know everything. In fact, the internet knows a lot of things that aren't right. For instance, here's what I asked the internet. I want to see the top ten or top twenty or top fifty smartest people in the history of the world. Give it to me, internet. So, the internet answered with a bunch of different entries, and I started looking through, combing through all of these lists of the smartest people in the world list.
Now as you can imagine, and just as an aside, there's been a lot of smart people in the world. In fact, when I started reading some of the things that these smart people did I felt so dumb I didn't know what to do, like I just needed to go read a book or go stare at an art painting or something, you know, or whatever. Go dance, do something, like do something with your life, Jerry. So I'm stunned by kind of the intelligence that I was surrounded by. Now on these lists there were some that were, you know, characters that you would see on all of the lists, whether it was a top ten list, whether a top fifty list, there were some that you'd see on all of them. They weren't all the same, and they were arguing for why, and what and there's some of them you'd see. You would always see Einstein and he'd be like in the top two, right? He'd always be one or two. And then you'd always see Leonardo da Vinci, he would always be in the top five, always, always. And the you'd see a bunch of other people like Stephen Hawking showed up a bunch of times, who's still alive, right? He is still alive, right? They did the movie on him. Nikola Tesla, you would see Galileo Galilei. You would see Isaac Newton. You would see some of these common names that would come up on all of these particular lists that I was looking at.
What was interesting is that not on one of those lists did Jesus show up. Not on one. Not considered in the top 10, top 20, top 50 smartest people of all time. Now, if you were doing a list of, hey, top 10 most influential religious figures, Jesus would be on that list. If you were doing top 10 most loving people in all the world, Jesus would show up on that list. If you were doing top 10 most humble people ever walked the face of the earth, Jesus would show up on that list, right? Top 10 people who wore robes? Jesus would show up on that list, right? So there's all these lists that Jesus would show up on, and here's where he doesn't show up: on a smart people list. That has to change in your mind.
Jesus is the Son of God - God with skin on, God made visible. If we want to actually see the world as Jesus does, we have to trust that Jesus is the smartest human being to ever walk the face of the earth, so that when he says what he says, we embrace what he says because the world wants to influence us by telling us there are people smarter. See, this has to change in our mind.
I love what Dallas Willard said in his book, Jesus the Logician (not magician - logician). Here's what Dallas Willard said: We must "understand that Jesus is a thinker, that this is not a dirty word but an essential work, and that his other works do not preclude thought, but only insure that he is the greatest thinker of the human race: 'the most intelligent person who ever lived on earth.'" I agree with him completely.
And by the way, when you continue to read the Scripture, you start figuring these hints and clues out, right? If you just turn a chapter over in Colossians to chapter two, listen to what Paul says regarding Jesus. He says, "My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding," (here is it) "in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. You know - arguments that say hey, everybody's smarter than him. Paul's saying, hey, no they're not! All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge live within the Son of the living God who is untainted by sin.
We have to change the way that we think, because if we want to get Jesus at the center, what that means is that we want to see the world as Jesus does and to see the world as Jesus does we've got to think the way that Jesus thinks. To think the way that Jesus thinks, we have to trust that Jesus is the most intelligent being that has ever walked the face of the planet. Because if we believe that he's not, if we say, well, he's loving and he wore robes and he was humble and he was influential and all of those things, but we don't afford him the credit due the living, breathing Son of God who is the most intelligent being to ever walk the face of the earth, then we are going to be missing out and our world view might end up being skewed.
You know John actually - the apostle - actually framed it for us this way with a different picture of Jesus' brilliance. In John chapter one he said: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That's referring to Jesus. Remember I said that Jesus is without beginning. He didn't begin at Bethlehem. He's always been. Jesus was with God in the beginning. Through Jesus all things were made - just as Paul said; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. And then verse number nine of John one says, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And then remember what Jesus said in John chapter eight - he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Jesus didn't say I'm a light in the world. He said I'm the light of the world. In other words, the reason that we can trust him is because within him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He has always been, and even when he showed up he was making God visible to us. And in so doing, he brought the light that we are now able to discern in the midst of the darkened world that we live in, we can actually see what living in the light looks like because of Jesus. So if we want to ultimately see the world like Jesus sees the world - which is ultimately a Christ centered world-view, we've got to think like Jesus thinks.
But, see, if Jesus isn't at the center of our world-view, if he's not the center, here's what that means: your mind is actually not working right. Now I didn't say you're dumb. I didn't say you can't think. I didn't say you can't do stuff with your mind. I'm not saying any of those things. What I am saying is that your mind's not working like it's supposed to if Jesus is not at the center.
Here's why I say that: because the same writer, Paul, who wrote the book of Colossians talking about the nature of Jesus also wrote to the Corinthians. In writing to the Corinthians, do you know what he was concerned about? Their minds. He was concerned about the way that they were viewing the world - sometimes through self and that they were easily deceived because of that. They didn't center their world view on Jesus. In fact, Paul actually talked about three different things that happened to people's minds. Do you know what the first thing he said? That their minds became dull. That was the first thing that he said. They had a dull mind. Listen to what he says in 2 Corinthians chapter three. Their minds were made dull - he's referring to the Israelites of the old covenant - for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.
Follow me here - stay with me, all right? Use your mind and stay with me. Ultimately those who are still embracing the old covenant, Paul was arguing, have a dulled mind because there is a veil in which they don't see the world as clearly as God has intended for them to see it because they are doing so outside of Christ. It is only in him that our minds become enlightened and sharpened to be able to see the world the way that we're supposed to see the world.
But secondly, he said not only did they have a dull mind but you can actually have a blinded mind. Those who don't believe in Jesus have a mind that is blinded. Listen to how Paul phrased it in 2 Corinthians four. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to that they cannot see the light of the gospel that display the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves - in other words it's not a self-centered gospel that we preach but it's a gospel that says Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God displayed in the face of Christ.
You see, when we don't believe in Jesus, the Scripture says that we've got blinded minds. That doesn't mean - that doesn't mean we can't think. That doesn't mean that we can't look. It doesn't mean we can't solve formulas or invent things. We can do all of those things, but it is darkness in the midst of darkness. That's ultimately what it is, because we're not seeing the world as God has intended for us to see the world and that is through Jesus.
But it also says, Paul also says we can have a straying mind. In other words a mind that's moving away from where it's supposed to be. So this can happen to believers. Listen to what he says in 2 Corinthians eleven. I'm afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. Why? Because your mind is starting to stray because you're not getting Jesus, the true Jesus, at the center of the way that you view the world. It is becoming either a) more self-centered and as a result of that it is beginning to stray away from pure devotion to Christ. See the only way we sense of the world, the only way everything's held together in the way that we view the world is when Jesus is at the center.
Now this is important for us because Paul actually exhorted us to do something as a result of this. He actually told us to do something because of this. Listen to what he said in 2 Corinthians ten. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Why do we do that? Here's why: because when we do not have Jesus at the center, our minds either get dull or blinded or they stray. So you know what he says for us to do? He says take captive every thought, because this whole world is going to pour on your its idea of what you are supposed to be, its idea of what reality is - take captive all of those thoughts and make them obedient to Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is God made visible. Jesus is the one who created everything. Jesus is the one that everything was created for. And Jesus is the most intelligent being to ever walk the face of the earth, because he is God with skin on. Therefore, take every thought captive so that you don't fall to these deceptive philosophies and make them obedient to Christ. Jesus, is this true? Or is it a lie?
This is what it means to have a Christian world view. It means that we take everything that we know that Jesus embraces and we embrace it ourselves. It means that we take everything that Jesus thinks and we think the same thing about it. That's what it means to have a Christian world view.
I love the way that James Orr, the old Scottish Presbyterian theologian from back in the day who passed away in the early 1900's, like early - in the teens. He wrote this in his book The Christian View of God and the World. Here's what he said: "He who with his whole heart believes in Jesus as the Son of God is thereby committed to much else besides. He is committed to a view of God, to a view of man, to a view of sin, to a view of redemption, to a view of the purpose of God in creation and history, to a view of human destiny, found only in Christianity. This forms a Christian view of the world, which stands in marked contrast with theories of life wrought out from a purely philosophical or scientific standpoint."
In other words, what he's saying is this: if we really put Jesus at the center, we will believe just like Jesus believes. So listen carefully. We will believe, like Jesus, that God is not just theoretical but is accessible. As he prayed, Father, Father, Father, so can we. We will believe, just like Jesus, that God is sovereign over the entire world. That nothing sneaks up on him and that he is the ruler of every kingdom and that he is controlling every circumstance - even elections. He is sovereign even in elections when people are flipping out on both sides - God is not stumbling around heaven going, what am I going to do with the United States? God knows what's happening. Jesus believed this - we should too.
We should believe, like Jesus, that every human being is created in the image of God and therefore has an inherent dignity even if they're still in the womb. We should believe, like Jesus, we should believe, like Jesus, that every human being comes into the world and is scarred by sin and as a result is sinful, is lost, and is in need of saving and helpless to save themselves. They are not inherently good, they are inherently broken and they need a redeemer. That's what Jesus believed, that's what we should believe. We should believe that we have a real enemy, Satan and his demons, that will do everything in their power to distract us and to sidebar us from keeping Jesus at the center of everything, and taking every thought captive and making them obedient to him. We would believe, just like Jesus, that there is coming a day when this broken world is going to be renewed because of his grace and his love and his glory, he's going to make everything new. We will believe, just like Jesus, that it is only through his death on a cross for the sins of humanity and taking on himself the judgment of God, through his burial, through his resurrection, through ascension and through his return that all things that are broken can actually be made new. We will actually then begin to believe, just like Jesus, that there is no other name under heaven by which human beings can be saved.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were 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, a couple things before we leave. If you're here and you have made yourself the center - you have a view of life that has put yourself at the center - know this: Jesus is a better God than you. And I mean that in love. He loves you. He wants you to see the world rightly. That's why he came and he died for those of us who have sinned, which is all of us - why he rose from the dead, why he's going to make all things new. But he wants us, in this life, to know what it means to be in relationship with God through Jesus and that can only happen through him. The perfect One stood in the place of the imperfect ones. The sinless One stood in the place of the sinful ones. The one who didn't owe a debt paid a debt that he didn't owe. This is the glory and the grace of God in Jesus, God who's been made visible in him. And he wants you to be able to see the world as Jesus does and think the way that Jesus thinks and you can only do that in real relationship with God, taking yourself off of the throne and putting Jesus on it. It is his right position, it is where we will see him face to face and he desires to have that latitude in your heart.
So if you've never repented, which just means to do an about face - if you've never turned away from your sin and your selfish centeredness and put your faith and trust in Jesus as the only one who can save you, then when we dismiss in just a moment I hope that you'll come by the Fireside Room. It's clearly marked out in the Atrium, whether you're in this room or in the East Worship Center. We'd love to talk to you for just a few minutes. There's pastors in there and other friends that are in there. We just want to take a few minutes to tell you what it means to actually have a relationship with Jesus and what it looks like to be forgiven and to be set free and to be made new and to have our mind renewed so that we can see the world rightly.
And Father, for those of us who do claim to know you, I know there are times where our minds get dull and maybe even become slightly blinded and we certainly have had times where our minds begin to stray because we are not keeping you, Lord Jesus, at the center. That we bring every thought before you, we take it captive and we make it obedient to Jesus in every area of our life no matter what it is, whether it's our relationships or whether it's our finances, or whether it's our work life, or whether it's our parenting, whether it's how we do our dating lives, whether it's who we are before you in private - whatever it looks like, we're to take all of that and make it obedient to Jesus. This is what it means to put you at the center of everything. Because, Lord Jesus, you're the only one who holds it all together. You're the only one who makes sense of it all. You're the only one in whom we can look and see true objective reality - that this is God! This is how God loves us. This is the only way we can make sense of the world. And so I pray that you would help us to repent where we need to repent, confess where we need to confess, and realign where we need to realign so that we might center you in all things. That you may be glorified. That this world may see the light of Christ in us in the midst of their darkness and would be attracted to the One who holds all things together. So we pray this in the precious and the powerful and the glorious name of Jesus. And all God's people said Amen.
God bless you. You're dismissed.