Jesus centered living
For believers in Jesus Christ, Christianity is not merely part of life, Christ is our life. Everything other that Christ forms the various components of life, with Jesus being the hub, the axis from which everything grows and orbits. This, in part, is because Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Hebrews 5:9). The believer accepts, trusts in, and arranges their priorities to conform to Jesus’ declaration; I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
Paul had proclaimed Jesus Christ as Lord to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 4:5), which he did everywhere that he declared the gospel. And it is compliance to Jesus’ lordship, within a believer’s unique and sometimes complex circumstances, that develops transformational living for Christ. For the Christian, their heart’s desire is that in everything he (Christ) might be preeminent (Colossians 1:18).
Near the end of His earthly life, Jesus explained in John 15:4-5, Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. While this may sound strange to the nonbeliever, the child of God acknowledges the essential nature of belief that is dependent upon Jesus. The longer we live and walk with the Lord, the more we recognise the truth of Jesus’ teaching in this matter.
The horticultural parallel of integration with Christ, and dependence upon Him as the only supplier of spiritual nutrients is unmistakable. Just as the branches of a vine require sap from its own root to survive, to grow, and then to produce fruit, the same is true of the believer. Those who live in Jesus, whose daily existence depends upon His spiritual food, they remain faithful and grow to produce Christlike fruit through their lives. For them, only Christ can satisfy by providing what they need.
While life has many important relationships and activities that require commitment, Christ is life’s essence, life’s motivation, and goal. As Lord, Jesus is permeated through every facet of Christian living, nothing goes untouched by Him. Relying continually upon the spiritual resources of Jesus, our vine, enables us to use the earthly necessities and activities of life for His purposes and our blessing.
It is a sharp focus on Jesus that brings joy, comfort, and security in this everchanging world that we live. Clear focus on the Lord Jesus inspires perseverance during difficult chapters of life while we wait upon Him to resolve the issues that distress us. Listen to Job’s testimony during his greatest suffering, what is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? (Job 6:11). Here, the child of God can experience genuine peace while enduring great difficulties.
Living a Jesus centered life enables us to …run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2). Similarly, Paul wanted the Colossian believers to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3). May we pursue knowing and living Christ. And as we grow in our understanding of Him, may our hearts place Him more and more in that central place of focus.