Whatever is in First Place

Essential questions to see if Christ is first in your ministry.

If some ministry position is the god of your life, then something terrible occurs within when it is no longer a future possibility. If your ministry, however, is simply a part of God’s plan and you keep it in proper perspective, you can handle an unwanted dismissal just as well as you can handle a promotion.

First Place
(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

It all depends on who’s first and what’s first.

Breaking the magnet that draws things ahead of God is a lengthy and sometimes painful process. But God loves us enough to wrench from our hands everything we love more than Him.

Everything was created through Christ and His power, and furthermore, it was created for His honor. That includes everyday things as well.

  • If you have a satisfying position, it’s to be enjoyed for Him.
  • If you have a fair salary, it’s to be enjoyed and invested for Him.
  • Do you have good health? It is for Him.
  • Are you considering more theological training? That, too, is for Him.
  • You’re thinking about a career change? It needs to be for Him.

That is true because He’s the ruler of our kingdom. He is Lord.

Where is Christ in Your Decisions?

Perhaps, in addition to Sunday, you teach a number of times during the week. You want to publish a book, or lead a men’s group, or start a new outreach, plus continue a rigorous counseling schedule.

Does Christ have first place in those decisions?

Have you decided that continuing those ministries is just assumed . . . and other priorities—like family, time with God, and rest—just fit in the cracks?

If that describes you, then face it—Christ really isn’t in first place in your ministry. You are. (Hey, I’ve been there.)

Sometimes God is more glorified by what we say no to than by our taking on another ministry. Just remember: Whatever is in first place, if it isn’t Christ alone, it is in the wrong place.

What do you think? What helps you keep Christ first? You can tell me by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Harold Cain

    Sometimes it is saying no to a church activity that does not honor God and then seeing that job nobody wants and saying yes! Knowing that the job will require pain and suffering, but will honor the Lord and fulfill people’s lives.
    Sometimes we need to get out of the front row and move to the back row where the tears are pouring down and we can make a difference.

  • Tripp Skipper

    Thank you, Chuck. I needed to read that today. I lead Four Corners Ministries, a small non-profit that exist to serve orphans and families in Africa. The need for orphan care is overwhelming and often I am tempted to put FCM’s work above just walking with the Lord. I know I cannot earn God’s love but sometimes I live as if He requires me too.

  • Herb

    Great, Dr. Swindoll, thanks for the timely reminder.