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Thursday, October 11, 2012

the fulness of life {day 11}

I read recently where someone was saying that [one of] the problem with the church is that she is not teaching us about how to "work." One commenter dubbed it the "doctrine of vocation."  

Here is a quote which nearly sums the article: 
"Christianity is given (sold?) to us, in the main, as a life of evangelism, morality and church activities. [yet] Our lives are made up of finely drawn details. Each day is full of countless ones. We do all these 'little' things at home, at work, and in the marketplace and they just don’t get a lot of sermon time." [you can read its entirety here]  

{And I believe this man is honestly speaking from a sincere heart. This is no attack on him or his thoughts. I do not even know him!}

This got me to thinking... and wondering:
Are we supposed to learn how to "act Christian" at work? Is there a different way to express our faith in the workplace as opposed to in church on Sunday?

and that made me be still... to listen and know.It is almost cliche among Christians {especially those who are faithful to church and church activities} to say: Let Christ have preeminence...  

{this is the first verse that popped in my head after reading the blog post: Colossians 1:18, And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence} 

It seems to be often preached: Put Jesus first... and you will have peace, you will know joy, life will have meaning, etc.

Often, both phrases are used interchangeably.

But they are not the same.

And I am not actually supposed to put Jesus first.

I am to put Him only.

Preeminence implies that nothing else can compare.

There is no list for Him to be "first" on because He IS "the list."

In the beginning of my Christian journey, He was the "first one" that I reached for/called out to in certain situations... but because He is always enough, I ended up realizing that He is the only anything that I need in any situation.
The problem, as I find in the Bible, is not
that the church does not meet this supposed need of teaching us how to live in our different compartments: church, work, play, with friends, with family, in a store, in a restaurant, at a church function as opposed to a work function, with church friends as opposed to unsaved colleagues, etc.

The problem is that: WE LIVE IN COMPARTMENTS.

If I could just realized {and convey through example and testimony} that Christ is to simply be my life... I would see how He permeates [fills] every aspect
... without special training or doctrines.

Further reading in that same passage reveals:
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him... whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven
. Colossians 1:18-20. {He is the fulness of all things... in heaven or on earth.} [emphasis mine]

and further still...

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled ... through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith ... and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, ...even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  to whom God would make known ...the glory of this mystery... which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, ... whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Colossians 1:21-29 [selected, emphasis mine]

If I remember correctly, Paul, though a traveling missionary... worked. He had a "vocation" outside of being a minister of the Gospel. And yet, when speaking of Christ, Paul never mentions anything apart from Jesus is the fulness... of... well, of life. Jesus is the fulness of life-all life. He is not just the fulness of going to church or of witnessing or of having family devotions.
If the Spirit whispers within me to speak to a perfect stranger about the Gospel, Jesus is being the fulness "in the store." 

If I realize that I have not given a true effort in a particular area of my secular job, then I know that I have not allowed Jesus to be the fulness in my "vocation." 

When I rest in His strength and find joy in His contentment, He becomes the fulness of any area/compartment I may have in my life.

Thus, Jesus becomes my life; and I do not need to blame my church for not teaching me how to live in my compartments.


  1. The problem is that: WE LIVE IN COMPARTMENTS.
    Well said.

    1. it is a struggle... to NOT live in compartments. :)

  2. :) Recently I was having a debate with my dad about this very thing... so I read him 1 John 1:5-7... and others out of that book...

    We shouldn't have to define what it means to be "a Christian at work" or be a "Christian at school" etc. It's all the same.

    Just be a Christian. 'nuff said. :) Great post!

    1. AJ-thank you for stopping by again! I have stopped by your blog a couple times... enjoying your 31 days.
      so true... just be a Christian. hard, but what I strive for.


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