“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.” – 1 Peter 1:3.
“Ah, the good life!” When you hear that phrase, you probably think of Beverly Hills, West Palm Beach, or 30A, where the rich and famous lounge around their swimming pools or cruise by in their Bentleys. But that is not always the dream life people imagine it to be. People in wealthy areas aren’t any happier on average. In fact, some of the most unhappy people in the world are those who live for the things money can buy.
So what is the good life and how do we live it? The Bible says that God created the world: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). God, as the author of life, brings meaning to life. Everything God created was meant to show what God is like. Through His design, God created a world with a purpose. The life of every person is not just the product of chance, random events, or fate. God made a world without brokenness – without war, sickness, or death. And then sin entered the world. The Bible says that it was mankind that chose to not follow God’s ways but to go our own way. This is what the Bible calls sin. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23).
When we look at the world around us, we see that we live in a world of brokenness. Depression, anxiety, fear, sickness, war, and more. These are real and everyone experiences those things at some point in their lives. And when we come face-to-face with our own personal brokenness, we look for a way out.
God does not leave us in our brokenness. He enters into our brokenness. Jesus was born as a baby, grew up, and lived a perfect, sinless life. Then, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. God raised Him from the dead. Life will have little meaning without knowing Jesus as the one who came to restore our relationship with God. Once God begins His work in us, we can appreciate all the good things that are in our lives: relationships, skills and talents, experiences, and material possessions.
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.
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. Now that’s a good life.
- What stands in the way of deepening your relationship with Jesus?
- What can you do this week to begin to overcome those obstacles?