Last Sunday we introduced our annual theme for 2018, “A Christ- Centered Life”, drawn from Philippians 3:10. The goal of the Christian life is to know CHRIST and desire to be conformed into His likeness. But Christ-Centered is a lot easier to talk about than to live, isn’t it? In the mundane moments of everyday life, a lot of other things compete with Christ for center stage. Christianity is definitely not a religion of rules and rituals that we must work at keeping in order to climb the ladder to heaven. Rather, it is a personal, growing relationship with the risen, living Lord Jesus Christ that results in our growing conformity to Him.
Christ-like living is not a call to lead a perfect and flawless life; however it is an exhortation to build a genuine, intimate and authentic relationship with Christ. This kind of life calls for one to be intentional and deliberate about it. It is a journey that is demanding but rewarding. Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry in many occasions seemed to have been at loggerhead with the religious teachers of the day. The Pharisees and Sadducees propagated a relationship with God based on works and human achievements. However, Jesus Christ introduced one based on faith in God.
The journey towards Christ-like living begins at conversion, at the Cross of Calvary. It demands one to fully surrender to the LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST. We can never be like CHRIST without taking up His Cross and submitting to His will and way. Consequently, conversion is the foundation stone upon which we build a Christ- Centered life.
There are several disciplines that contribute greatly to Christ- Like living. Top on the list is Bible reading culture. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His Word. Through the Bible, we learn His ways, know His Will and most importantly understand His plan and purpose for our lives. Someone has lamented that we complain that GOD is silent on us, when all the time our Bibles are closed. The Bible does not contain God’s Word; it is God’s Word to a desperate soul. For us to build a Christ- Like life we must cultivate a consistent discipline of studying the Bible. President Regan once said “Within the covers of one single book, the Bible, are all the answers to all the problems that face us today–if only we would read and believe”.
Secondly, we build a Christ- like life by intentionally growing at the place of Prayer. All through the Scriptures God invites us to cultivate a life of daily communion with Him. Through Prayer God impresses His thoughts on us and helps us to be more and more like Him. Prayer changes our circumstances but also prayer changes us and helps us to conform more into the likeness of CHRIST. Prayerlessness is powerlessness!
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit”. JUDE 20
Have a Lovely Sunday.