Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Colossians 1:17-20 where the Bible says this of Jesus Christ:    

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.


It is political season here in Washington, D.C. Actually, it seems like the political season never ends. But, in the midst of another election year, politicians are all over the news telling us what they are going to do for us. Many of them literally tell us that they themselves can be “all things to all people” in order to get us to trust them to solve all of the problems in our lives. Naturally, many of us are suspicious of such talk. We instinctively know that this “all things to all people” stuff is usually an act. Aside from an exceptional example like the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:22), it’s typically not a way to bless others, but a philosophy that seeks to manipulate or appease others in order to get ahead. Forbes had an article several years ago titled, “10 Signs You're Trying Too Hard To Please Everyone.”[1] It urged readers to set such nonsense aside. It argued that if trying to be “all things to all people” means you are not being yourself, you will never reach your full potential; so the author advised you to learn to be yourself and let the chips fall where they may.

There’s some wisdom in the counsel to take life by the hand and to give it your best effort. It also makes sense to be a little suspicious of casual acquaintances who demand your allegiance and trust, who say that they have your best interests at heart when experience often teaches otherwise. But what about when issues in life truly do seem out of our control or beyond our best efforts to resolve? What about those times when we need others, when we need family and friends, and when we really need God? What about the struggles, temptations, failures and challenges that leave us empty when it matters the most?

Our reading for today talks about a person for moments such as these and, in fact, for any and all times. It talks about one who could be truly Himself and, at the same time, care for others more than Himself. Jesus Christ alone could be all things to all people because He truly loves people with a perfect, selfless love. In our reading, the Apostle Paul describes Jesus this way: “In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega, the Redeemer of the world, and the Firstborn from the dead (e.g., Colossians 1:18; Galatians 4:5; Revelation 22:13). Jesus himself says, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19), and, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). If you are scared in this world today, I know how you feel. If you are troubled in your spirit, we all are at times. If you wonder whether there is anyone who really can and does care about you, trust in Jesus Christ. And if you truly want to receive the energizing power of that gracious love and forgiveness as the source of your very life and salvation, do not put your trust in yourself or in the “so-called princes of this world.” Instead, put your faith in the Prince of everlasting peace, the Savior of the world, Jesus the Messiah. He is the only one who is all things to all people, whose life, death, and resurrection offers you a forgiven past, a bold present, and a certain future right now.   

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, so many people make promises that we know they can’t keep. Give us a spirit that doesn’t become cynical, especially when it comes to trusting in the promises that You have made. You saved us and love us. By Your Spirit assure us that You always desire what is best for us whatever might come our way. AMEN


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2017/08/19/10-signs-youre-trying-too-hard-to-please-everyone/#636b15b52c27

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