Steven Furtick: Don't Put Jesus First This Year

I have one piece of advice for you as we start out this New Year:

Don’t put Jesus first this year.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Before you label me a heretic, let me explain.

I imagine many of you are going through a similar process as me right now of setting and resetting your priorities.

Personally, I love this time of year. I’m a very goal-oriented individual, and I’ve found reprioritizing and recalibrating your life is an indispensable activity if you really want to actualize your potential.

And here’s what it usually looks like: We start by putting Jesus at the top. Then family. Then maybe career. And so on. 

So our priorities look something like this:

1. Jesus/God
2. Family
3. Career

Looks good.

However, I’ve found this isn’t very effective when you get down to the grind of everyday life.

For example, what does it even mean to put Jesus before my family? Do I ignore my family to spend more time with Jesus? Or with your career, do you stop working to put Jesus first?

The essential problem with this approach is it segregates the different priorities of life.

You end up removing Jesus from where you spend the majority of your time and putting Him on an island by Himself. The biggest island maybe, but an island nonetheless.

I don’t think this is the way it was ever supposed to work. Colossians 1:15-20 repeatedly tells us Jesus is first before and over everything. But it also says all things were created through and for Him. That in Him all things hold together. That the goal of the cross was to reconcile all things to Himself.

So Jesus is first. He is first in order. He is first in importance. But He is so because He is the center of everything.

That’s what He should be in your life. And consequently, the thing at the center of your life is the thing that is ultimately first in your life.

This year, instead of worrying about putting Jesus first in your life, what if you concentrated on making Him the center of every area of your life? Not just the top priority in front of every other priority, but the top priority in every priority?

Not Jesus, then my family. But Jesus in my family.
Not Jesus, then my career. But Jesus in my career.

We’d probably be a lot more successful in actually keeping Jesus at the top spot on our list. And we’d be much more likely to do an exponentially greater job at accomplishing our other goals and maintaining our priorities. 

 
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Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church. In just under seven years, Elevation Church grew to more than 12,000 people in weekly attendance, meeting at seven locations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Elevation has been named one of the fastest growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.

Pastor Steven has been privileged to minister to a global audience, speaking at conferences and churches around the world, including Catalyst Conference, Hillsong Conference, and the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. He is the author of the best selling book “Sun Stand Still” and the New York Times Best-Selling follow-up, “Greater.” Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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