Christ is in the Center of everything!
-The center of our Faith and Prayers
-He is our only Hope – Christ in You, the hope of glory!
-He is at the Center because of who He is
-He gives us the power to see it through by making us alive in Christ, forgiven and victorious!
-He is to be in the center of our mind – our thinking, our decisions, our plans.
Today we want to focus on the idea that Christ is the Center of Your Life. This captures the thought of Colossians. I pray it captures our hearts as we consider that there is no part of our life that escapes the presence of Christ – and that’s a comfort for us all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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.Colossians 3:12-17, NIV
Christ at the Center of Everything changes…
How We Look (Colossians 3:12)
We should ask ourselves if this is what Christianity looks like to the culture around us? Is this what we look like to the world around us? We all have some room for growing in these areas.
Jesus is the greatest example of each one of these.
How compassionate he was to a widow whose only son had died, when he raised her son.
How kind He was to a little tax collector who climbed a tree to see him. That day salvation came to his house.
How humble he was as he washed the feet of the disciples, showing them the power humble service.
How gentle he was with a pharisee who came to him at night to talk to him about being born again, sharing with him what has become world’s best loved verse.
How patient he was with Simon Peter – maybe others would have given up on him but Jesus never did.
How compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient he is with us, and He is all those things and more right this minute – showing us the way to live.
When Christ is the Center of Everything it impacts how we look….
How We Love (Colossians 3:13-15)
The love of Christ is what the world needs to see most – and when Christ is the center of our Everything, we will demonstrate the kind of love He did.
Paul says it is characterized by:
- Love that bears with one another
- Love that forgives one another (as the Lord forgave us) “Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me.” -Archibald Hart (Swindoll)
- Love that binds together in unity
- Love like that leads to peace; we are called to peace.
Barclay: “Let the peace of God be the umpire in your heart.” The umpire settles things with his decision. If Jesus is the umpire in our heart, when we are struggling in our relationships … irritate… annoyed… let the umpire have his way and it will lead to peace.
This reminds me of a Simple Prayer for Peace attributed to Francis of Assissi, though it is nowhere in his writings and first appears in France in 1912 (Francis died in 1226), but it has resonated over the years.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life!
When Christ is the Center of Everything it impacts how we look, how we love.
How we Learn (Colossians 3:16)
AMP: Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] …
When the word of Christ has it’s home in our heart, it is often expressed in song. And song / music reaches our soul on another level.
“A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” (Reader’s Digest)
Is our singing together a time of teaching / admonishing? Some of the invitation songs of my youth were quite pointed in admonishing.
- Did you repent, fully repent, of your past sins friend?
- There’s an All Seeing Eye Watching You
- Almost Persuaded, but lost
- Is Thy Heart Right With God?
Those messages stay with us.
Beautiful singing is a great thing, but God gets priority:
- The Message of Christ (living among you richly)
- Teaching and admonishing with wisdom
- Songs from the Spirit
- Singing to God with gratitude
We are to learn something from our time singing together.
- God is present and to be praised
- Jesus is dwelling among us through the message
- We are taught to be thankful for all our blessings.
- Faith is enriched when we sing (together or alone!).
When Christ is the Center of Everything it impacts how we look, how we love, and how we learn.
In reality, there is no setting up boundaries for Jesus …
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. – Colossians 3:17
What part of this message is resonating with you today?
Are we demonstrating the character of Christ in our relationships?
Are we loving others with the love of Christ?
Are we giving God worship by recognizing his presence in song?
When Christ is the Center of Everything it impacts everything.
- In our series from Colossians we have emphasized
Christ is in the Center of our Faith and Prayers
He is our only Hope – Christ in You, the hope of glory!
He is at the Center because of who He is
He gives us the power to see it through
He is to be in the center of our thinking
- He impacts how we live, love, and learn.
Have you put him at the center of your life?
Baptism? Repentance? Prayers to grow stronger?
The Lord’s Prayer places Christ in the center of everything.
Let’s end today by saying that together.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible Series: The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians.
Swindoll, Charles. Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations and Quotes.
Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes