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Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Meadow View Road pond
 Lancaster County pond on Meadow View Road.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Christ Preeminent"

Message summary: We can experience great comfort in this eternal truth; Christ is preeminent!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent" (Colossians 1:16-18).

Yesterday we attended a memorial service for Wendy Gambini, a longtime friend and our former pastor's wife, who passed away on June 8. The service was held in a church near Messiah University which has a two word slogan I have always been blessed by, "Christ Preeminent".

Christ Preeminent

The word "preeminent" is commonly used in a theological sense. In sports there is an acronym used for a great player, GOAT, meaning Greatest Of All Time. In recent years it has been used to describe Tom Brady in football but of course this is subjective. We might refer to athletes like him as being preeminent in their sport.

But today we consider the only One who is preeminent in all things.

The daily Scripture portion is like a rich meal with much to feed upon. Note the five times in these three verses we read the words "all things" or "everything". But today let us focus on the final one, "that in everything (all things) He might be preeminent".

Christ Preeminent

Preeminent is defined as "having paramount rank, dignity, or importance". (Webster) Preeminent, although used in several prominent translations such as the KJV and ESV, is not a commonly used word and thus other translations (see here) render the passage a bit differently but with the same sense:
  •  "so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything" (NASB)
  •  "so that in everything He might have the supremacy" (NIV)
  •  "so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything" (Amplified)
The Miriam Webster dictionary lists the following synonyms to describe preeminence: cardinal, chief, dominant, first, greatest, main, master, number one, sovereign, supreme. These adjectives well describe the attitude we should have toward Christ if He is preeminent in our lives.

The Greek word (proteuon) means “to be first, to have the first place, to hold the chief place". God is reigning as the preeminent Being in the universe. He always has been and always will be.

PreeminentI examine my life today and I encourage you to do the same. Is Christ preeminent in your life? Is He the reigning King of your heart’s allegiance? May Christ’s reign and preeminence be evident in each of our lives today!

The preeminence of Christ is a great source of assurance in troubling times. There are many things in our lives that can bring on anxiety and distress. It may be a personal health issue or a family matter. It may be our finances or the condition of the world with all the turmoil and uncertainty.

At the present we don’t know how these and many other issues will all work out. But we can experience great assurance in this eternal truth; Christ is preeminent!

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You
I will adore You

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Praying manDaily prayer: Father, anything good or praiseworthy in me is simply a reflection of the abiding presence of Your Holy Spirit. I want to grow in Your grace and knowledge, and will do so when You are preeminent in my life. That means You will reign supreme and be of first importance to me, having greater influence than any other person, interest or cause. I want to walk in humility today as I pray, “Jesus must become greater in my life, I must become less.” I ask You to be at the center of my thoughts, my attitudes, and my actions so that Your preeminence is seen in all I think, do, or say. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Millions declare that Christ is Lord. So today we ask the following heart-probing question to our readers; who is Christ to you?
  • For some Christ is popular. An ungodly entertainer may throw a shout-out thanking God at an awards ceremony. A politician may quote a Scripture text to score political points though he or she gives little regard to God in lifestyle choices or life principles. Consider the crowds and disciples that followed Jesus in John 6 at the height of His popularity, but when it got tough they abandoned Him and the cause for which He died. (See John 6:66)
  • For genuine followers, Christ is present in your life. The Psalmist declared, “Thou art with me”.  Jesus reassured the disciples on the mountain before He ascended to heaven, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Psalm 23:4, Matthew 28:16-20, Hebrews 13:5)
  • For some Christ is prominent. By prominent, I mean that it is well demonstrated and evidenced by others that you are a follower of Christ. Your family, co-workers, and neighbors know that you are a Christian. It is commendable that Christ is prominent.
  • But a relative few live demonstrating that Christ is preeminent. Yet this alone is the proper outlook for one who claims that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is God’s gold standard concerning what His Son should be to us. Christ Preeminent, what a glorious truth!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Hymn of Heaven/Revelation Song"   Click to listen on YouTube  Calvary Church closing from last Sunday includes closing prayer.

"God of the Ages"  Click to listen on YouTube   Charles Billingsley

"Ancient of Days"   Click to listen on YouTube    CityAlight

Though the nations rage
Kingdoms rise and fall
There is still one king
Reigning over all!

"Preeminent | Colossians 1:15"  Click to listen on YouTube   A powerful reading using this text.  

The Preeminence Of Christ (Colossians 1:15-19)   (Study from Bible.org)

"Jesus Built A Bridge"  Click to listen on YouTube   Poet Voices  Our long time Arkansas friend, Tommy Carpenter, suggested this song after reading yesterday's message.

Jesus built a bridge to heaven
So that I could have a way up to Him
Jesus built a bridge the only way He could
With only three nails and two pieces of wood
With one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge

Jim Gambini
For nearly five years Jim and Wendy Gambini served the pastorate at Mount Pleasant where we attended after our arrival in Mount Joy back in 2001. Quickly Ester became very fond of both Jim and Wendy which was a blessing since it was the first time she had another pastor rather than her dad. As we walked in the foyer she didn't hesitate to weep on Jim's shoulder as she expressed her love and appreciation for Wendy.

Jim Gambini
After the funeral service Ester was so pleased to get a picture of her with Jim. He and Wendy moved to Georgia to be near their son in 2018 so we hadn't seen them for many years, though they are very special to us.

Psalm 100 when entering sanctuary
Entering the sanctuary of the Grantham Church yesterday morning for the service our eyes were drawn upward to read Psalm 100 calligraphed in Timothy Botts' style as seen in his 1989 book of Scripture verses, "Doorposts" (sixty calligraphic renderings of Bible Passages with notes).

Meadow View Road pond
Another view of the Lancaster County pond scene on Meadow View Road.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Wheat field
Last night I went for a trail ride with our friend Nick and several friends from his church. We passed this field prompting a consideration of a Bible verse. Any guesses?  See here.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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