Are You Centered?

May 2018

Last month, we looked at an overview of our church’s personal discipleship model, the wheel illustration. Over the next few months, we will take a closer look at the components of this illustration to consider how we can apply the biblical truths represented to our own lives.     

Discipleship LogoSo, let’s start at the center and work our way outward. 

Every one of us has something that is central in our lives. Psychologists tell us that every human being is born with themselves as the center of their own understanding of the universe. We even have a word for it, egocentric. The Bible calls this our sinful nature (Romans chapters 7 and 8).

Even when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior (recognizing him as Lord means we are recognizing him as the center of our lives) our sinful nature needs to go through a process of being put to death (Galatians 5:16-25) so Christ can truly become central in our lives. 

Understanding this truth and learning to live it out in practical ways is critical to our lives as Christians on this earth and critical to our very eternity. Why? Because the true reality is that Christ is the center of all creation. In Colossians chapter 1 we learn “by him (Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,..; all things were created by him and for him.” 

This passage goes on to emphasize “in him all things hold together”, and we “were alienated from God” because of our sinful self-centeredness. But, we have been reconciled (brought back into relationship) with God by the sacrificial death of Christ for us. Only when we are living with Christ as the center of our lives are we in right relationship with the Creator of all things and in right relationship with the creation he has made.

So, how do we grow in living with Christ as the center of our lives when we are by nature extremely self-centered creatures? God in his grace has given us means by which to grow, to be transformed from self-centered individuals to Christ-centered individuals (Romans 12:1-2, Titus 2:11-13). This relates to the rest of our “wheel” illustration of being well rounded disciples of Christ. As we grow in the disciplines of following Christ as described in Christian values (the spokes of the wheel) and rely on his grace and extend his grace to others (the rim of the wheel) God progressively develops our spiritual maturity shifting our life focus from self to the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Next month we will begin looking at these values (spokes) and learn from Scripture how these values, or spiritual disciplines, are used by God to center us in Christ. 

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1) 

 ~Steve Cox
Director of Adult Ministries

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