Jesus At the Centre
The vision statement for our All Nations church is "For all people to glorify God, by knowing Christ, becoming like Christ and making Christ known".
First Core Value
We also have a number of core values, the first of which is "Jesus At The Centre".
That's not Jesus at Telford Town Centre - although it could be, if you were wanting to represent Him and make Him known there! 😊
It's about Jesus being at the centre of our lives and central to everything we do, both as individuals and as a church.
We seek His presence.
We seek His leading.
We seek to follow His example.
After all, Jesus is our role model.
An Opportune Reminder
It struck me that it is such an opportune moment to be reminded about Jesus being at the centre.
Watching the news unfold this year, you realise that the world is in turmoil.
It's the kind of turmoil that Jesus talks about in Matthew 24 and the signs to expect in the end times prior to His return:
- Fires burning out of control.
- Volcanic eruptions.
- Pestilence like COVID-19.
All of this is happening on a biblical scale across the world, with all of us impacted in one way or another.
But despite this, even with all these things going on, causing fear, insecurity, even loss of life ...
Jesus is still at the centre!
He's still in control.
He's not worried.
And fortunately, He does not change either: "He's the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
We Have Peace And Reassurance
Regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in as individuals, or as a church, we have His peace and reassurance as believers.
We acknowledge as believers that Jesus is at the centre of everything and that "all things were created by Him, and for Him" (Colossians 1:16).
Why We Put Jesus At The Centre
So why do we choose to put Jesus at the centre of our lives and everything we do?
One obvious reason might be because of everything He has done for us by dying on that cross in our place, even though He was without sin.
So that we might be forgiven all our sins: past, present and future!
So that we can stand before God, holy and without blame, accepted and loved by Him as His children.
The apostle Paul says that for this reason alone we should "offer our lives to Him as a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1).
John 5:23 says that "all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father" and that's not the only place in the bible where we are told to put Jesus at the centre.
Matthew 6:33 tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness".
The "righteousness of God" is Jesus, who has become our righteousness and to "seek the kingdom of God" is to do His will.
Putting Jesus At The Centre
So how do we go about putting Jesus at the centre?
I remember Pastor Steve Uppal talking about this a while back ...
He talked about the acronym J.O.Y.
This really is the key. It's all about priorities.
Putting Jesus at the centre means putting Him first - ahead of everything else.
Christianity Is Not A Religion
We also have to remember that Christianity is not a religion - it's a relationship with Jesus.
And like any worthwhile relationship, we need to put time into it. Sometimes we have to sacrifice for it.
Maybe as a result of COVID-19 you need a break from relationships? Maybe you want a little space for yourself.
Hopefully you are closer and your relationship is stronger with those that you've spent time with during lockdown.
But being in relationship with Jesus is vital.
He's the one who calms the storm.
He's the best teacher.
He's a great encourager.
He's always there for us, 24x7.
No matter where we are, He is with us, going before us.
If we follow Him, we will never go wrong!
Relationship With Jesus
Relationship with Jesus does require sacrifice.
Jesus Himself says that to be His disciples we must "deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him" (Luke 9:23).
That's a life of submission.
It's when we put down our agenda and pick up God's agenda.
It's how Jesus lived. Doing the will of the Father, even unto death in His case.
It's also how God wants us to live.
This is what gives purpose and direction to our lives.
We were born to fulfil His unique purpose for our lives. To walk out His good works that He prepared for us before the foundations of the world were even set in place (Ephesians 2:10).
He chose us, to bring Him glory!
Getting Jesus Centred
So who's in the driving seat right now?
Is it Jesus? Or is it you?
Have you been driving Jesus to lots of places that He didn't want you to go to?
Have you been listening to everything that Jesus has been trying to say to you?
If you have not been listening, you are not alone. We all forget to do that at various times.
Distraction Is Rife
Right now, more than ever, the devil is causing so many distractions in so many different ways to take you away from relationship with Jesus.
To stop you from really getting to know Jesus, from becoming more like Him each day and from making Him known to others.
The devil wants to steal your peace and joy and to stop you living a life of purpose for God.
The devil wants you:
- Or "fill in the blank" as Pastor Rick would say.
That's why we need Jesus at the centre of our lives and of our church.
To keep us grounded, putting our confident expectations and trust totally in Him.
Not living merely to please others or to please ourselves but to please Him.
He is the audience of one that we live for and serve.
Mary And Martha Decision Time
Right now, it's like Mary and Martha decision time ...
There are plenty of things that we could be doing to keep ourselves busy but none are as profitable as sitting at the feet of Jesus and spending time with Him.
So when all hell is breaking loose, or you are anxious and just don't know what to do ...
Put Jesus back at the centre!
Choose to make Him your agenda.
Promises From Jesus
Remember what Jesus said (Matthew 11:28-30):
"Come to me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
If you read these words carefully, you'll realise that Jesus is making you promises.
Promises about finding rest, about your yoke becoming easy and about your burdens becoming light.
What's not to like about putting Jesus at the centre?
23rd November, 2020