2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Colossians 3:1-3 goes further; “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Who wants to appear in glory? I know I do and as many with me as possible! BUT, in order for that to happen Christ must be my life.
Sometimes (too often regretfully) I find my old self and its worldly attitudes resurrecting. What often causes this to happen? Often enough I can stop doing the “good I out to do” (James 4:17), like relying on God through my daily quiet times, or I resist denying my emotions, or I allow ungodly relationships to influence me.
If that is happening to you, here ‘s a short list of five areas to refocus back on, to let Christ regain being the center of your life.
1. You strive daily to please God in ALL you do
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
When we cling to self then we cannot grow into what God would have us to become. When we are willing to give up ourselves and allow God to mold us, then we will begin to know true life
– daily denial of self (picking up our cross), overcoming your emotions, doing what’s right in spite of how you feel
- do you get ADVICE about your life in order to please God?
- how you spend your time, vacations, missing meetings of the body, your money, what we wear, dating….even going on a mission team
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
- James reminds us we are but a mist, our lives are fleeting…our highest importance in all we do is to do it for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31)
2. Your Relationships are in the Kingdom
Mark 3:31-34 “Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
- do you have that heart, do you have BFFs in the kingdom? Are you building strong relationships? Are you making an effort to get to know disciples…going on dates, spending time with one another etc…..reality is we need to have stronger ties in the kingdom than our physical families
3. You 100% depend on God – QTs
It is easier to trust God for our eternity than to trust Him daily. As long as we pursue our own desires, and approach life with our own agendas, then our confidence will be misplaced.
In John 5:30, Jesus says profoundly that, “By myself I can do nothing”!
This is remarkable. Jesus was able to accomplish as much as He did because He was leaning on God’s strength and wisdom. If Jesus was this dependent on God, what should that say about our relationship with the Father? Since we are not as strong or as wise as Jesus, we must become more dependent on God to provide everything we need!
In Romans 12:1-2, the Bible tells how we can overcome our dependence on worldly wisdom and know the will of God.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
- we need to transform our minds…..shelf challenge….has old attitudes and worldly mindset come back down the shelf?
- self reliance…burned out….can’t do it without God’s power
- Luke 11;1-4, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray…..”give us this day our daily bread”…daily dependence to be our provider
- Prayer is humiliy – submission to God
4. You’re a Fisher of People
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus calls his men to follow him in order to be trained into the one thing that will change the world. A fisher of people….. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
God’s plan to save the world wasn’t to use social media, or a great advertising campaign, or to drop a million bibles down into everyones lap….NO 🙂 God uses people to spread His message.
Jesus came for one person alone. To seek and save the lost (Luke 9:10). Is that your one purpose?
5. You recognise the importance of the Body of Christ
1 Cor 12:12-20,27
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
It is all about Christ, but we are baptised into the CHURCH (BODY), whether you like the people in it or not 🙂 Christ is our life, therefore His church is our life ….some grumble that Church wants too much of our life, but remember we DIED!! When we grumble we are essentially grumbling against God (Exodus 16:2-9). When we lose our awe or reverence for God’s Bride (the Church), we lose something very precious. There’s only one place on earth where God has promised to reveal the glory of His great Son, Jesus Christ, and that’s the church.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says: “To him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever”
God’s plan for evangelizing the world is through the church, God growing you to maturity in Christ, is through the church (discipling), and God’s love is displayed through our relationships in the church (John 13:35). One of the beautiful aspects of our church is the conglomeration of people who have nothing in common but Christ. We come from all backgrounds, cultures and nations, yet in the Church those boundaries have disappeared. Without the Church Jesus wouldn’t have a body, the church is essentially his arms and legs, an extension of himself, working to save the world.
Let us strive to MAKE CHRIST OUR LIFE
Romans 8:12-14 (The Message)
So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!