Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

12 ways to give Christ the first place in the new year

Beginning a new year should cause us to consider the course of our life—what lessons we have learned from the previous year and what we should focus on in the year ahead.

Yet, for believers in Christ, there is something more than resolutions, more than a desire for personal progress or even spiritual growth. With us there should the longing for the Lord’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on this earth (Matt. 6:10) so that our life becomes a factor in hastening His return, even as Peter said, “expecting and hastening the coming of the day of God…” (2 Peter 3:12). May we be those redeeming our precious time by understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:16-17).

To be such a factor for bringing in God’s kingdom, we need to be those who give Christ the preeminence, the first place every day. In this post I’ll mention twelve ways that we can give Christ the first place in our daily life in this new year—and for the rest of our life.

First, we need to give the Lord our first love.

 To give the Lord the first place in all things is to love Him with the first love, the best love, regarding Him as everything in our life (Rev. 2:4). We are able to love the Lord with the first love not by any loving ability of our own but because He first loved us.

It is Christ’s infusing of His own loving essence into us that generates within us the love with which we love Him. All we can do is come to Him daily to open ourselves so that He may freely fill us with His loving Self.

Second, we need to repent and do the first works

To repent is to turn our mind from everything to God. It is to have a change in our thinking. To do the first works is to do the works that issue from loving the Lord with the first love (Rev. 2:5).

We need to learn from Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet and lovingly listened to His word about His impending crucifixion (Luke 10:39) . Realizing His intention, she took the opportunity to express her love for Him by breaking her alabaster flask of ointment upon Him, anointing Him before His death (John 12:3). The Lord considered her pouring out an everlasting memorial.

Third, we need to drink of the Lord as the fountain of living waters.

 The simplest way to drink the Lord is to call on His name from the depth of our being, our spirit.

In Psalm 116, David said “what shall I return to Jehovah for all His benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of Jehovah” (Psalm 116:12-13). Salvation is a cup and a cup is for drinking. But how do we drink from this “cup?” The answer is simple. We just call “Lord Jesus!” (Rom. 10:12-13).

To become Christ’s bride, His counterpart, we need to listen to the call of the Spirit and the bride to come and drink (Rev. 22:17). You can read more about this from my post “Come and Drink the Living Waters!

Fourth, we need to eat Him as the tree of life

To give the Lord the first place, we also need to eat the Lord by continually coming to Him (John 6:35). In order to receive Christ as spiritual nourishment from God’s word, we need to always match our coming to the Scriptures with coming to the Lord Himself (John 5:39-40).

For more on this point, please read my post, “Four ways to eat the Lord as the tree of life.”

Fifth, we need to be those contacting the Lord in everything.

The evil of the wicked mentioned by Isaiah, was that they were like the tossed sea that could not be calm, but tossed up mire and mud (Isa. 57:20). We need to calm our being, stop our busyness and contact the Lord, so that all our doing is the issue of our contact with Him.

May this new year be one of contacting the Lord, taking Him, receiving Him, tasting Him, and enjoying Him more. This is a part of “holding to truth in love.” For more appreciation for such an active receiving, check out my post “How to have faith?12 action verbs to fill you with faith.”

Sixth, we need to take the Lord as our holding center in everything

I do believe according to God’s word that all the things in the physical universe hold together in Christ (Col. 1:17-18). However, in a very subjective sense, it is even more wonderful to realize that all the things in our personal universe are being held together in Him.

For example, I don’t think that in our society today it’s possible to hold a human marriage together in a strong, sweet, and refreshing way for a life-time without the Lord being the holding, supplying and refreshing center.

Seventh, we need to gain the honor of being well-pleasing to the Lord. 

We can please our Lord by “bearing fruit in every good work and growing by the full knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10). May we daily spend times to get to know our Lord in spirit by means of prayer and the Word.

We can also become well pleasing to the Lord (2 Cor. 5:9) by walking with Him by faith as Enoch did (Heb. 11:5-6). Today, we can have such a well pleasing walk by walking according to the Spirit with our spirit (Rom. 8:4).

Eighth, we need to have a “clear sky” with the Lord with a throne above it.

The spiritual “sky” between us and the Lord and between us and others should be kept clear by our confession of all our sins such that our conscience is void of offense toward God and toward men (Acts 24:16). In such a condition we will have the Lord’s presence for the Lord’s presence is always with His throne (Ezek. 1:2226). To enthrone the Lord in our inner being is to allow the Lord to rule and reign within us.

Ninth, we need to hold Christ as the Head. 

This point continues the previous one, since to hold Christ as our Head is also to enthrone Him in our being. For Him to be our Head means that we need to always stay connected to Him (Col. 2:19). As soon as our physical body is severed from our head, we collapse in death.

May we have real desperation to stay continually, connected to and dependent on our indwelling Head, Christ.

Tenth, we need to ask for the Lord’s counsel in everything in our lives.

 Israel’s failure in being deceived by the Gibeonites in the days of Joshua issued from their failure to seek the counsel of Jehovah (Josh. 9:14). May we learn to honor the Lord this year by inquiring of Him, asking His counsel in every detail of our lives. You may also want to read my post on “Learning to pray inquiring prayers for God’s work.”

Eleventh, we need to give the flow of life the preeminence in our being.

The Triune God—the Father as the fountain, the Son as the spring, and Spirit as the river (Jer. 2:13; John 4:14; 7:38-39)—is a flowing God and He wants to flow into us, through us and out of us in every circumstance of our life. May we not quench Him but allow Him the free course to flow into us, through us and out of us into others (Ezek. 47:1).

Twelfth, we need to those who are ruled by the rest in our spirit.

Our subjective Savior as the indwelling, life-giving Spirit with our spirit is full of feeling in every situation (1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 8:16). May we learn this year to care for the rest in our spirit in everything (2 Cor. 2:13-14). We should not say things or do things just because they are good or right but because we have the rest in our spirit.

“Lord Jesus, make this year one that really counts with You, one that fulfills Your heart’s desire and purpose. Lord, may we appreciate You more than ever before. May we give You the preeminence, the first place, in everything in our lives. May we exalt You and hold You as the Head and take You as the Center in everything in order to build up Your Body so that You may return. Lord, may You be our unique Portion and Desire this year. And most of all, may we love You with our first and best love.”

This post is an updated version of one I published on Jan. 5, 2012. It was inspired by the opening word to the Crystallization-Study of Psalms, Part Two held in Anaheim, CA on December 26, 2011. You can also read more about this topic from fellow bloggers: Crumbs & Bits and A Normal Believer in Christ.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

10 Replies

  1. Hallelujah! I really enjoyed the practical 12 points brought out in the beginning of this message, how to give Christ the preeminence in our lives. This is the secret to bringing Christ to the earth, by first bringing Him to be manifested in and through our own lives.

    The most striking one to me is the 10th point, on consulting Christ in everything, from Josh. 9:14. In this one thing Israel thought they knew what to do, not needing to consult God. Haven’t you ever done that? Perhaps with small things, like going out to lunch, or even with big things, like whether or not to rent out a room to someone. Don’t assume that God wants you do something even apparently good now; consult Him first! This is in the same principle as being dependent upon Him, which is the principle of the tree of life, and the same as knowing His face (see 2 Cor 4:6 and note). If we spend enough time with someone, we don’t even need to speak to them; just by looking in their eyes, we can tell if they are pleased or not. It should be that way between us and the Lord.

    1. Phil, thanks again for an encouraging and developing reply. This year may the Lord go higher by saving us from the presumption of merely doing good things “for Him.” Rather, as you said, may we be those who are looking at Him in our spirit with a fixed gaze. (Just like Elisha who would not let Elijah out of His sight). May all our living and service come from our beholding Him and inquiring of Him. Yes, consult Him first! IN this way we can remain as those dependent on Him as the tree of life and remain on the line of life that issues in the city of life, the New Jerusalem. “Lord, keep us looking at You and inquiring of You, each day this year!”

  2. 李 菲 麗

    The prayer has become my prayer. I’ve posted this is the face book and brother David has ‘crystallized’ the prayer into a hymn! Praise the Lord!

    David Beach:
    Hope you could try this song, based on the wonderful note above!
    tune: Around Thy Grave, Lord Jesus/935
    (same as: Thou Art the Son Beloved/189)

    Lord Jesus, make this year one–
    That really counts with You.
    One that fulfills all Your heart’s–
    Desire and purpose, too.
    Lord, we’d appreciate You,
    More than ever before.
    Give You the preeminence in–
    Everything in our lives.

    Exalt You, as Head, hold You,
    Take You as Center, Lord–
    In everything, in ord’r to–
    Build up Your Body, for–
    Your return; Lord, You’d be our–
    Unique portion, desire.
    And most of all, we’d love You,
    With our first and best love.

    source: holdingtotruth.com note, re-posted by sis. Ofelia; from 1/5/12; song from 1/5/12.
    Hymn: Around Thy grave, Lord Jesus
    Christian hymns and spiritual songs with wonderful truths and music.

    1. Ofelia, I really appreciate the hymn that crystallizes the prayer from the post. May the Lord use every means to usher us into the reality of the word we have heard. Thanks for sharing it with me. The fellowship in holding to truth brings in encouragement and real refreshing.

      1. 李 菲 麗

        Amen, brother! I thank the Lord for all the unique portion of the saints as members of the Body of Christ! Indeed this is so encouraging, refreshing, energizing and vitalizing!

  3. Theresa Haungs

    Thank you saints for sharing…may Grace abound in your life in this blessed 2012!

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