“Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”– 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.
Christ-Centered” – it’s a phrase we love to use. If someone asked if your life is centered on Christ, how would you respond? Oftentimes a Christ-centered life is equated with going to church, giving, praying, reading the Bible, and talking to other people about Jesus. But “Christ-Centered” is a lot easier to talk about than to live, isn’t it? A lot of other things compete with Christ for center stage in everyday life.
A Christ-centered life begins with realizing that the source of everything we are is the Lord. He created us, He authors our story, and every blessing that we receive comes from Him. James 1:17 tells us that “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens…” Additionally, Christ is the source of our daily righteousness. We simply cannot live up to biblical standards on our own; but in Christ, we have everything we need for godly living. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3).
A Christ-centered life has one ultimate goal: that Jesus gets the glory. Because we want Christ to be known, honored, worshipped, and obeyed, we submit every other attainable goal to Him. Our decisions are no longer controlled by selfish desires, but instead, we will “live for Christ who died and was raised for them” as we read in the 2 Corinthians passage above.
The answer is to shift our focus to Christ and what He desires. Our battle with self is one that will continue as long as we live in these earthly bodies. That’s why Paul tells us to “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted” and to “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:22; 4:24).
A Christ-centered life is fueled by a love for the Savior, which flows from increasing knowledge of Him. And we learn to know Jesus more intimately through reading, praying, and quietly abiding in His presence. As Christ increases in our mind and heart, we’ll discover that our self-focus decreases and He becomes the delight of our lives; lives which will be better for it.
- What stands in the way of deepening your relationship with Jesus?
- What can you do this week to begin to overcome those obstacles?