Recently members of our church distributed school supplies at a back-to-school event in an underprivileged community. To our church’s credit, we had more volunteers than we needed to man the tables, so I decided to be on the lookout for families as they arrived or for people carrying empty backpacks. Then I would lead families to the tables where they would find supplies.
A man and his wife sat in the bleachers watching me go back and forth. “You’re getting your exercise today,” the man laughed.
“I’m okay with that,” I responded. “I’m not very good at staying still.”
After the rush had passed, I stopped and asked the couple if they had children at the event. The man said they were waiting for their son, a member of the local football team, which had also come to serve.
“Are you with that church?” he asked, pointing to a table for another congregation that also serves that community.
“No, I’m with this church,” I said, pointing to our tables.
“Oh, the competition!” he joked.
“No, we’re all on team Jesus,” I said. And that was the trigger.
This man said he believed in God—that Jesus was on par with Martin Luther King and other great men. He would not accept the truth that Jesus is God. No amount of scripture would change his mind. His heart was darkened to this incredible, powerful, beautiful, transformative truth:
He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for in Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He Himself is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.—Colossians 1:15-20
Entire theology courses could be taught based on that one passage alone. He is creator of all things. He is before all things. He is foremost in all things. He is the reconciler of all things. He is God, come in flesh, as our Redeemer.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.—Philippians 2:5-11
His is not a name to be mocked or diminished or dismissed. His is the name that should be our very sustenance, our every hope and our ultimate identity. His name is power and love and life and grace. It is the name above every name, the name to which each of us will someday bow—willingly or unwillingly. It is the key to the gate of heaven.
And if I have one message to give the world, it is this: Trust Him today.