He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 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 and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Colossians 1:15-18 (NIV)
There is no middle ground with the Lord Jesus. As C.S. Lewis once noted regarding Christ: “He is either a lunatic, or a liar, or the very Son of God.” He leaves no option for the middle ground – no lackadaisical feelings – no middle of the road ho-hum. He is very God of very God and we are to rejoice in His work of salvation accomplished for His creation - standing awestruck astonished and overwhelmed by His great love for sinners such as us. That He would leave the splendor, greatness and perfection of heaven to come to earth and live the perfect life – the life we were not able to live - to be the perfect sacrifice, is jaw-dropping amazing. What kind of love is this? To die for the sins of His creation? As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV): “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” This, my friends, is great cause for the believer to rejoice as our rejoicing demonstrates we comprehend – at least in some small measure - what He has done for us.
Do we then, like the angels, consider it heaven to serve God? The highest privilege of the saint? Remember, even a hypocrite is able to do good works but takes no delight in the duty – often doing God’s will against his own. Cain brought his sacrifice but grudgingly – his work a dutiful task rather than an offering of delight. Delight in duty is higher than the duty itself and God is pleased with such sacrifice. God places a high priority on the motivation of our hearts. He knows the thoughts and attitudes which dwells within each one of us. Scripture tells us in Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV): “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ‘I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.’” We can be self-deluded about our own hearts but God is never deluded. He sees pristinely clear. We never fool Him. It is best to pray and ask God to set our hearts rightly. It is also best to pray for our hearts to propel us forward to regain cheerfulness and wholehearted devotion in our service for the Master. This is to take hold of the life that is truly life.
Angels give God their best – not merely the left over dregs – accomplishing their tasks readily and speedily and we are to do likewise. God is looking for willfulness and cheerfulness in those who serve Him – remembering as well the high calling and greatness of serving the Master. May our reaction to the Lord Jesus always be one of awe and overwhelming joy, desirous of serving Him with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:10-12 (NIV)