“Jesus at the center of it all. Jesus at the center of it all. From beginning to the end, you have always been, you always will be Jesus.” ~ Jesus at the Center by Israel Houghton and New Breed
I’ve always loved this song but I went to a worship night Friday night and I really felt God speaking to me through this song. God reminded me that I haven’t necessarily been doing this lately. Sure, God is the center of some things in my life but am I truly living with the perception that God needs to be the center of everything? If I’m being honest, I think lately the answer has been no. Not that I’m consciously saying He’s not the center of everything but I also don’t believe that I’ve been consciously trying to ensure He is. It reminds me of the quote from one of our pastors a few years ago, “God shouldn’t be first in your life, He should be at the center of every piece of your life.” Can you imagine the difference it could make if God was truly the center of everything? It could literally be life changing!
1. What if God is the center of the church? If God is at the core of the church, the church would be able to work together more effectively because they’re all working for the common purpose of reaching people for the Kingdom rather than focusing on politics and personal agendas. In Matthew 21 it talks about how Jesus walked into the Temple and saw the tax collectors using it in a sinful way. Jesus was so upset at this that He overturned the tables and made them leave, saying “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a place of prayer,’ but you have made it into a den of robbers.” (Vs. 13) 1 Corinthians 12 describes how we’re all parts of the body of Christ (the Church) and how we all work together to be a healthy body. If one part isn’t working with another, then it’s all suffering. Instead of being a legalism minded church and instead of focusing on which church is “bigger and better,” if we all worked together, as one body with one purpose and Jesus at the center, we could be much more effective at fulfilling the great commission – which is the ultimate purpose of the church.
2. What if God is the center of our relationships? If God was at the center of our relationships, we could be more focused on loving each other rather than concentrating on our differences. Christ is the ultimate demonstration of love (John 3:16, 1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:12, Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 2:38) so if He’s the center of our lives, we should be a constant reflection of love. The second greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) 1 Peter 4:8 says “above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” Marriages would last, families could be restored, and friends would stop turning their backs on each other. It wouldn’t matter your race, your political differences, your background, or anything else because something greater would be the foundation of the relationship. There could be a lot more love and a lot less hate in this world if we strive to have Christ in the middle of every relationship.
3. What if Christ is the center of our life? St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and sometimes use words.” This is such a powerful quote because it’s saying that by your actions, people should be able to see the Gospel through you. Ephesians 5:1 says, “be imitators of Christ…” 1 John 2:6 says, “whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” Matthew 5:16 tells us to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” When our lives are centered around Christ, it’ll be easier to walk like He walked and shine His light because we have already built a strong foundation and core.
These are just a few examples of areas God should be the center of and the impact it could have if He was. I know I’m challenging myself to make sure He’s the center of everything and I would love to challenge you to do the same. See the impact it makes in your life and the lives of those around you.
*All verses are ESV unless otherwise stated.