Tag Archives: colossians 1

Christ is the Head

Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything.

~ Colossians 1:18 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://raptureintheairnow.com/forums/topic/he-is-the-image-of-the-invisible-god/
Image Credit:
http://raptureintheairnow.com/forums/topic/he-is-the-image-of-the-invisible-god/

Don’t you just love the Word of God? There is power in God’s word. There is healing in His word. There is life in the Word of God and there is deliverance. As you read and study the Word of God, you will also find that there is freedom in it. Therefore, I want to share some things the Lord has revealed to me about freedom, and it all begins with the scripture above…

Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body… I know that those of you who have been Christians for awhile have heard this repeated over and over, but I wonder… does everyone truly understand what this means to us? Do those people who go from church to church, following different leaders, because they need to “be fed”, truly understand what it means to have Christ as the head of the church? Do those ministers who bottle or spoon feed their congregations on various doctrines, understand what it means for Christ to be the head of the church? Do their congregations understand? Does anyone understand that Christ is the head of the church, and what this means to them in this day and time, when ministers, evangelists and televangelists grow filthy rich from tithes, offerings and gifts from their followers, who grow poorer as they give money that they don’t even have, because their leaders encourage them to pledge, borrow and give money to their ministries “by faith”?

Image Credit: http://pattycakesgreetingsfromtheheart.blogspot.com/
Image Credit:
http://pattycakesgreetingsfromtheheart.blogspot.com/

12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them“The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

~ Matthew 21:12-13 — NLT ~

Maybe this will offend some of you, but as I look around at the billion dollar business that Christianity is in America today, I wonder, what would Jesus think of it? Would He approve of men and women selling their products in His name? Would He approve the constant begging that takes place in “Share-a-thons”? Would He give His stamp of approval to those ministers who will not minister at smaller venues unless they are guaranteed to receive a certain amount of money? Would He approve of those who will not minister for free? Would Jesus be pleased with those ministers who have become wealthy by telling people that if they will just “sew a seed into their ministry”, God will answer their prayers? Or would He respond to those ministers the same way He responded to the moneychangers? “… My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

Sculpture-of-Homeless-Jesus-Sleeping-on-Bench-is-Rejected-by-Churches
“Jesus the Homeless” sculpture
by: Timothy Schmalz

57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay His head.”

~ Luke 9:57-58 — NLT ~

How would Jesus respond to the ministers and televangelists in America today, as He watches them grow richer and richer, while their followers grow poorer and poorer? How do you think Almighty God feels as today’s most popular ministers buy enormous mansions, and church buildings that are each more opulent than the other, while countless men and women remain poor and unsaved, with no one to minister to them? How do you think Jesus feels, as He watches men and women who are supposed to be ministering the gospel and seeking and saving the lost, instead, seeking fancy expensive cars and private jets for their own personal comfort? How does it feel to the Son of Man, knowing that while He, the KING of kings and LORD of lords, had no place to lay His head, many of America’s “ministers” have not just one home, but as many as two or more luxurious homes, paid for with money donated to their ministries?

One of Paul Crouch's 13 mansions...
One of Paul Crouch’s 13 mansions…

“If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed to (the) station, you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven.” ~ Paul Crouch

Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything. Christ is the head of the church, not Paul and Jan Crouch, not John Hagee, not Kenneth Copeland, not Joyce Meyers or Paula White, or Fred Price, or Creflo Dollar or Jesse DuPlantis or T.D. Jakes or any other televangelist. Not even your pastor is the head of the church, for there can only be one head, and scrpiture clearly states that Christ is the head of the church. Therefore, when we hear or read a statement made by one of these leaders in the church, we must measure it against God’s standard — His Word… Let’s examine Paul Crouch’s statement above, and see how it measures up to God’s word…

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from abovecoming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

~ James 1:16-17 NIV  ~

Beloved readers, the statement above, made by Paul Crouch is wrong for many reasons. First of all, it is wrong, because he implies that your healing, salvation or blessing came through TBN, but scripture clearly states that every good and perfect gift is from above. If you were saved, healed or blessed while watching TBN, praise the Lord, for it is God the Father, through Christ, the head of the church, who chose to save, heal or bless you at that time. I have been privileged to lead several people to Christ, but it was He who saved them, not me, and they owe me and my ministry nothing more than to love me. Even in the Old Testament, when the prophet, Elisha, healed Naaman from leprosy (2 Kings 5), he refused to accept any gifts or payment for healing Naaman, and I’ve never read a single scripture where Jesus or the apostles accepted gifts or payment for healing, blessing or saving anyone, and they certainly never demanded payment, so why would any other follower of Christ expect this?

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. 10 When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in His slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me. 16 You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. 17 This is My command: Love each other.”

~ John 15:9-17 — NLT ~

Beloved readers, what is God’s will for His church? To understand His will for us, look at the scripture passage above, particularly the parts that are underlined. Does God say His will for us is to give to TBN? Of course not! Jesus’ command for His followers over 2,000 years ago, is the same as His command for us today. He commands His followers to love one another, as He loves us. If I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, just as He loves me, will He remove my reward because I choose not to give to TBN? That just doesn’t add up to His word…

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

~ Ephesians 2:8-9 — NLT ~

My beloved friends, our good works can’t earn us anything. As a matter of fact, scripture says that our good works are like filthy rags. Therefore, do you honestly believe that giving some money to TBN or any other ministry will earn you any points or rewards? Of course not. The only two commands the Lord gives us is to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.. If we will just obey these two commandments, everything else will  fall into place, and He will give us wisdom and discernment so that we will know how He wants us to spend our money, and which ministries and/or people to give to, as well as how much to give.

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

~ 2 Corinthians 9:7 — NLT ~

Finally, take careful note of the scripture above… God’s word tells us not to give reluctantly, because He wants us to give cheerfully, to whomever He sends our way. Now, take note of the 2nd sentence in the verse above… don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressureAll too  often, “Share-a-Thons” or “Praise-a-Thons” are nothing more than intense pressure tactics designed to coerce viewers into giving as much money as possible to give as much money as possible to a ministry. We are not to give in response to pressure. Therefore, before giving to any ministry, listen to Holy Spirit. He will direct you in your giving, and He will provide for each ministry that He supports…

Remember, my beloved readers, Christ is the head of the church, and we are His body. As I said before, Jesus is the only head. There is no other head besides Jesus, not your pastor, and not any other religious leader, because anything with two heads or more is a monster, and not worthy of worship…

Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything.

Colossians 1:18 NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Through Him and For Him

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on  earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.

~ Colossians 1:15-16 — NLT ~

Do you ever wonder why? Why was I created? Why am I here? Why does the sun rise in the east and set in the west? Why are the stars in the sky? Why does it seem like our lives are intricately woven together, even though we don’t even know one another?

The answer to all of those questions is found in the last sentence of Colossians 1:16

… Everything was created through Him and for Him.

Do you want to know why you were created? You were created by God, through Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ…

“Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them.”

~ Isaiah 43:7 — NLT ~

We were created for God’s glory. Have you ever felt like a total failure? Have you ever looked into the mirror and hated the person looking back at you? Have you ever felt as though God made a mistake by creating you? I’ve felt all of those emotions, but as I read God’s word, wisdom speaks to me…

Though others, including myself, may look on me with disdain, I was created for God’s glory. Even though I’m overweight and my skin is blemished, I was created for God’s glory. Even though I’m loud and annoying to some, God created me this way, for His glory. Even though others may look at me and see someone who is worthless, God sees me as someone of great worth, for He created me for His glory… And do you want to know something else? God created YOU for His glory too!

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created… ~

(Revelation 4:11 KJV)

This is huge. Do you doubt your worth? Do you despise yourself? Do you curse the day you were born? My beloved reader, look closely at this scripture and rejoice! For you were created for the Lord’s pleasure. You were created to bring pleasure to Almighty God. He values you, just as I value and love my children who were created by God, through Christ, and also through my husband and me. My husband and I united together and produced two children, who we prayed would bring us great joy (pleasure), and they have brought us great pleasure throughout the years…

I remember the joy of hearing my children say, “Mama and Dada.”

I remember how my son would throw his arms around my neck and give me a big kiss, as he proclaimed his love for me, each day before boarding the bus for kindergarten…

I remember finding little flowers and other treasures on my pillow, along with little love letters from my daughter when she was little…

I remember the joy I felt as I led both of my children to Christ…

You see? We were created for God’s pleasure, just as our children are created for our pleasure. And understand this, my friend, there have been many times throughout the years, when my children, who were created for my pleasure, have hurt me deeply. Has anyone else experienced this? There have been times, when both of my children  rebelled against me and against God, and yet, I can honestly tell you that no matter how deeply they wounded me, my love for them never diminished, just as God’s love for us has never diminished, no matter how far we have gone astray, because His love never fails.

Even though I was created for His glory and for His pleasure, I have rebelled against the Lord many times, and instead of bringing Him pleasure, I’ve wounded Him.

You see, it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross…

It was my sins that tore into His flesh with each lash of the whip…

I was the one who rejected Him…

I was the one who cursed Him…

It was my weaknesses He carried…

It was my sorrows that weighed Him down…

He was pierced for my rebellion…

He was beaten so I could be whole…

He was crushed so I could be healed…

Do you see all of the pain and sorrow I’ve caused? And yet, it pleased the Lord to lay on Christ the sins of us all! Do you understand this? Because you and I were created for God’s glory and for His pleasure… because of His unfailing love for us, He was pleased to offer His only begotten Son as a sacrifice to pay for your sins and for mine, so that we could be reconciled to Him.

For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.

~ Romans 11:36 — NLT ~

How amazing! Just think how much freedom, how much joy and how much power believers could walk  in if we could grasp the understanding of this. I know we can understand this in our heads, but, what if we truly understood the power of this in our hearts? What if we understood that we were created for God’s glory, even though…

We were born with physical or mental disabilities?

We have failed at everything we’ve ever done before?

We’ve been rejected by those that we love?

We are despised and hated?

We feel unworthy?

We’re ashamed of our past?

Do you understand that you were created for God’s glory? Beloved reader, do you not know that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life? Do you believe? His word says that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (He to whom a person or thing belongs, about which He has the power of deciding, Master, Lord, One who has control of the person), and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Is He your Lord and Savior? If so, my beloved, then join with me and rejoice!

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.

~ Ephesians  1:3-14 — NLT ~

Hallelujah! Do you see, beloved reader? God purchased us to be His own people so that we would praise and glorify Him. We were all created for His glory. Therefore, if we truly believe that this God whom we serve is the same yesterday, today and forever, we will cling to His promises, and live as He has called us to live, walking in His Spirit, and sharing the word of God, so that miracles, signs and wonders will take place among us. And, since we were created for His glory, how can we fail?

The Visible Image of the Invisible God

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

~ Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

fc935-cross-and-crown-of-thorns

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? 10  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.”

~ John 14:6-11 — NLT

Unknowingly, for the last three years, while the disciples lived with Jesus, and walked with Him, they were seeing God. Even though Peter boldly declared, “…You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:16b) they still didn’t comprehend that they were looking into the face of the Living God.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

What does it mean that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God? We see in John 14:6-11 that Jesus explained that He and the Father are one, and that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him… Jesus looks like His Daddy. Strong’s Greek Lexicon defines the word image in the scripture above this way…

Image — Eikon
an image, figure, likeness
an image of the things (the heavenly things)
used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God
the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses
the image of one
one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
applied to man on account of his power of command
to Christ on account of His divine nature and absolute moral excellence

My beautiful daughter...
My beautiful daughter…

My daughter is the image of me. She looks a lot like me. She has many of my mannerisms, often to the point that we will be talking and find ourselves standing or sitting in the same position. She also thinks a lot like me, and praise God, she has a strong, unwavering faith much like mine. It amazes me how much she resembles me, not only in looks.

Perhaps because my daughter is the image of me, I am able to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “… Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father!…” (John 14:9b) My daughter could say the same thing to someone who doesn’t know me, and they would have a good idea of what I look like, because not only does her physical appearance parallel mine, but her personality, her gifts and her faith, though they are uniquely hers, are still much like mine. It’s so funny, because not only does my daughter greatly mirror me, her oldest daughter (my granddaughter) is the spitting image of her mama, in appearance and in her ways. The main difference in the three of us is only the color of our hair.

Me
Me

Not only do my daughter and I resemble one another, we also resemble Jesus. You see, the more time we spend in His presence, the more we look like Him, as we begin to be transformed into His likeness, by His word.

Whenever I minister somewhere, I don’t much care whether people can remember my name or not. It doesn’t bother me (not anymore) if someone forgets to put my name on a bulletin or to give me credit for something I’ve done in the Lord’s name, because ministering to others is not about me. What is important to me is that people remember that I ministered to them about Jesus, because my heart’s desire is that I would be able to change many lives in Jesus’ name, and that many would be snatched from the fires of hell, as God transforms their lives. I want God to get all the glory, honor and praise that He is due.

16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 — NKJV~

If we are truly living for the Lord, we must walk with Him, and as we spend more and more time with Him, meditating on His word, we will be changed…

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

~ Romans 12:1-2 — NLT ~

As a Christian, (a follower of Christ), we need to have the same attitude that Christ has. When  people see me, I want them to see Christ within me. In order for that to happen, I must be willing to live as He lived…

6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 

He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

~ Philippians 2:6-11 — NLT ~.

Hallelujah! Christ is the visible image of the invisible God… One of my personal prayers has been that God will one day allow me to see Him face to face. And then, just now, He brought the following scripture passage to my mind…

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? 39 When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed Me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give Me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite Me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give Me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit Me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help You?’

45 “And He will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Do you see what I see? The answer to my prayer is right there in Jesus’ words, as He spoke to His disciples. Whenever I look on the poor and the needy and help them, I am looking into the face of God, and blessing Him. However, every time I look at those who need help with contempt and disdain, I am looking into the face of God with contempt.

Do you want to see the face of God? Look for Christ. Do you want to see Christ? Look into the eyes of the poor and broken-hearted. Look into the eyes of those who are hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or are naked, sick or in prison, for it is there that you might see Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God.

Father, I bless you for every time You’ve shown Your face to me, even though I failed to recognize You. I bless You for loving me, enough to give me the opportunity to see You and to serve You. Lord, I also ask for your forgiveness for those times I failed to serve You, even though I looked into Your eyes and saw Your need. 

I bless Your holy name, Lord, and I ask You to bless my readers, and draw them close to You, and let them see You in Jesus, and in one another! Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers