Christ At The Center of Faith
Whatever is at the center of your life has the greatest influence in your decisions, attitudes, and actions. What are some things people sometimes place at the center of their lives? Money? Relationships? Possessions? Self? Family? Hobbies? Work? Even though all of those things can be good, none of them can be the focus of a happy life that pleases God. The book of Colossians talks about the Supremacy of Christ – how Jesus is above everything that we could place at the center of our life. I encourage you to read the book of Colossians in one sitting. What themes do you see emerging? If you read it a couple of times, what words stand out to you? The stand out verse to me is:
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Colossians 1:27
The only hope we have is that Christ dwells within us – He is our strength – He is our guide – He is our only hope …He is at the CENTER of our lives … the center of our FAITH. How do we keep Christ at the center of our faith?
Colossians 1:3-4 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus.
Faith and thanksgiving are linked together. When we live a life of faith, we are continually reminded of reasons to be thankful.
Thankful for our salvation. Colossians 1:12 giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people…
Thankful for the opportunity to live the life of faith. Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What are some things we need to be thankful for – things we often take for granted?
Having Christ in the Center of our Faith causes us to Give Thanks. It also moves us to
Colossians 1:4… and of the love you have for all God’s people…
Eight times in this short book Paul writes about the power of love.
Colossians 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Vincent de Paul famously said, “If God is the center of your life, no words are necessary. Your mere presence will touch hearts.”
We can search for solutions to the problems of our world, but the answer will always be found in love. Loving God and loving others.
Having Christ in the Center of our Faith causes us to Give Thanks, Love Others, and
Colossians 1:5-6a The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.
Three times in this chapter Paul writes about HOPE – including our key verse in vs 27 – Christ in You – the Hope of Glory!
The gospel is a message of hope. Not hope in this life, or what we can accumulate, or what we can be known for – but hope found stored up in heaven – ultimate hope of release, healing, and eternal life.
It is easy to give up hope when things feel overwhelming. When our hope is centered on our earthly experience, we can be overcome.
When we obeyed Gospel we gave our lives to Christ, we gave our lives to Hope!
Have you given your life to Christ? It is ALWAYS on Paul’s mind to bring the gospel to the world around him.
Having Christ in the Center of our Faith causes us to Give Thanks, Love Others, and Hope Always
Colossians 1:6b In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.
When Christ is at the center of our faith we desire to share that blessing with others.
Even in the face of a pandemic that produced shutdowns and ‘stay at home’ orders – the gospel was always on the move! Social media was flooded with the Gospel for those who had ears to hear it! In one day most preachers became televangelists!
Mirriam Webster Dictionary gives as the first definition of Pandemic: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
In that sense we need to have a gospel pandemic! It needs to spread over a wide area, affecting a high proportion of people! The Gospel – the Good news of Jesus Christ – is to be shared – the message is to be spread – and Paul dedicated his life to that mission. The Gospel is bearing fruit and growing – may it ever be so! We want it to grow in our neighborhoods, our families, our cities, our state and the world. This is Central to our faith – a gospel to be shared.
Having Christ in the Center of our Faith causes us to Give Thanks, Love Others, Hope Always, Share Openly and
Colossians 1:7-8 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
To be a disciple is to be a learner – and when Christ is central in our faith, we are always learning more about Him – and how to walk in His footsteps.
We do not know much about Epaphras, but we do know something about him and his discipleship from chapter 4:
(4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.)
Having Christ in the Center of our Faith causes us to Give Thanks, Love Others, Hope Always, Share Openly, Remain Disciples, and
Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.
Read vs 9b-12: Paul’s prayer list – we should pray these things also!
- For God to fill you with His will
- That you would live a life worthy of the Lord and please him
- That you would bear fruit
- That you would grow in the knowledge of God
- That you would have endurance and patience
- Thanking God for rescue
The end of that prayer reminds us to keep Christ central in our faith:
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:13-14
Having Christ in the Center of our Faith causes us to Give Thanks, Love Others, Hope Always, Share Openly, Remain Disciples, and Pray Powerfully!
“If we make a full surrender, God will give us something better than we have ever known before. We will get a new vision of Jesus Christ, and will thank God not only in this life but in the life to come.” – D.L. Moody
So many things weigh us down in this season, but when Christ is at the center of our lives, we stand strong and carry on with His mission in our lives. Christ in you – the Hope of Glory!