What does it mean to live a Christ-centered life? A Christ-centered or Christocentric life, can be described in the following way:
A life that is focused solely upon a commitment to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Lord and Savior. A life that’s sole purpose is to honor and glorify Him forever.
The Westminster Catechism states: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
In order to focus our hearts on Christ, we need to understand the state of the human heart.
The State of the Human Heart
Since the Fall, man has been sinful from birth. David tells us that in sin our mother conceived us (Psalms 51:1). Our hearts do not naturally desire the things of God (Colossians 3:1-2). We are at odds with God through our rebellious hearts as Paul says (Romans 8:7). We are have broken God’s holy law (the Ten Commandments) and Paul tells us that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). In order to see that we need to have a Christ-centered life, we must realize that Christ came to die on a cross so that sinners, you and I, might be saved from our separation from God (John 3:16-18).
The Center of the Human Heart
At the center of the human heart is the concept of worship. Worship itself can be defined as: the feeling or expression of adoration or reverence to something, normally towards a deity. Worship is adoring or loving something or someone to the point that it becomes the centerpiece of your time and energy. To a certain extent, having something that you adore more than anything in the world could be considered an idol. God warns us against idols in Exodus 20:3 – You shall have no other gods before me. While we may not think of something that takes our complete attention as a “god” or an “idol”, it is. An idol is a person or thing greatly admired, loved, or revered. Makes sense a little more now, doesn’t it?
To have a Christ-centered life is to make Him the absolute center of your attention, energy, time, and thoughts. We are to be consumed by His Holy Fire (Hebrews 12:29).
“But how can my life be centered upon Christ”, you ask? You read the Scriptures. You pray, focus on the attributes of God, Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. Fall in love with the Psalms. Realize that we are going to fail, over and over again… however, God does not.
Some lyrics of a song I heard while I was writing this said something interesting to me. They said: “love is when all your happiness, sadness, feelings are dependent upon another person’s.” Thinking about it, I feel like that’s actually somewhat true… at least the action of love. My reflection of this lyric is that all of our happiness, sadness, and feelings should be dependent upon God. Our hopes, joys, pain, should all be centered on who Christ is and what He has done for us through His sacrifice.
What Captivates the Human Heart?
What matters in this life anyway? Is it our house, our cars, our electronics, is it our spouse or our children? Well, to best answer that let’s look at what Paul said to the church in Philippi:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Possessions are rubbish, or nothing, in fact everything is worthless in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior of our life.
But you ask: What about people, God calls us to love our neighbor? You’re absolutely correct! And this is so that we may be found blameless and so that we can point them to a saving faith in the Lord.
Let’s Be Honest…
Through all of this, realize that we will fail… in fact, most likely on a daily basis. This is one beauty we have in God — that He never fails!
I’m going to be very honest right now. I fail almost everyday with utter selfishness… in my marriage, my thoughts, my daily tasks, and think to myself: “I should have this, why can’t this happen to me?” The list goes on and on. I’ve always desired some type of fame but I don’t believe I will ever have it, and that’s most likely for the best!
I need to focus my life on Christ and how to honor Him. I need to realize that I am going to fall short of His Holy Law with dirty language or thoughts, pride, and making so many other things or people in my life a priority over Him.
How many of us say we’ll read the Bible or pray, and then our daily routine goes by, dinner is finished, we’re getting ready for bed… and boom, we’ve spent zero time alone with God? I’m guilty!
What’s the Solution?
When I think about having Christ as the center of my life, I can’t think about allowing sin to enter into my heart without pushing Him away. This can be consciously or subconsciously. Here are some ways I hope keep myself from sending, and therefore keeping my center focus upon Christ:
- Think about what our sin did to Christ. Sin put Him on the cross. It separated Him from His Father, to where His Father couldn’t bear to look at Him because He carried all of our sins. (Psalm 22:1; 1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:11)
- When we sin, we devalue the work He did on the Cross. Christ would have died for nothing (Galatians 2:21).
- When we sin, we put Christ back on the Cross. Think about this: when we sin, we’re putting Christ back on the cross ourselves.
- The Holy Spirit is with us at all times. We are always in the presence of the Lord. I sometimes struggle with whether this is a bad thing or not, but I don’t always think about God being in and around me at all times. I, instead, sometimes think of my mentor sitting or standing next to me and think “what would he think if I do or said this?”
- Would we stop ourselves from sinning if someone gave us $10,000? This thought was planted in my mind a few months ago and it’s very sobering: If someone said: “Hey, I’ll give you $10,000 right now if you don’t… look up that on the internet, say what you’re about to say, do what you’re about to do, or think that horrible thought?” Whoa.
As I conclude this, I can’t help but reflect on some of my sins. Sadly, even today I’ve hurt my sweet Jesus. The guilt for me is heavy, and I need to look to Jesus to remove that burden of guilt from my heart so that I can turn His sacrifice into the glorious victory over my sin that it is.