Christ should be central to all things. It should be all about Him. Christ in EVERYTHING. But is it?
I desire it to be, yet, I struggle with this. Too often my own sense of pride, confidence, self comes in, and I begin to allow self to trump Christ. Who am I in comparison to Christ? - NOTHING! However,
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in Glory." Colossians 3:1-4
I so easily get caught up in the circumstances, or the stuff around me, that my focus drifts, my mind wanders from the things above, and to the things here on earth. I need to be reminded of this daily - fix your eyes on HIM. This takes discipline, but what a joy, a priviliage, to be in Him - seated at the right hand of the Father in GLORY! Why wouldn't I want to make Christ central? Yet, it becomes so easy to be distracted from Him. Paul says it well in Romans 7:14-25
"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law that is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells with in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwelss with in me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, bbut with my flesh I serve the law of sin."
Even Paul struggled with his flesh. Paul who continually put Christ as central in everything he did, even Paul struggled with this. WOW! So as Paul did I will cling to the cross knowing that there is no condimnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. "For the law of the Spirit has life and has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh for sin, he condemened sin in the flesh in order that the righteous reequirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit." Romans 8:1-5
Each day will be a struggle with sin. Each day there will be circumstances, thoughts, and flesh that will stand in the way of keeping Christ centeral in my life. It is up to me to decide if I will surrender those things and claim Christ, or allow them to consume who I am. Will I allow myself to get caught up in the moment, or will I step back take a deep breath, and bring it back to Him?
It is a journey, it is a daily walk, it is my desire to choose Christ and keep Him central. Is it yours? Will you walk with me on this journey to keep Christ as the focus? Can I join you on your journey?
What better way is there to this life then to be in Christ? Christ in me, Christ before me, Christ defining me? I then can stand in confidence of who I am in Him, not because of who I am with out Him, becasue apart from Christ, I am NOTHING!
To Him Be the Glory!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
English Standard Version (ESV)
I Am the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
To ABIDE in Christ is to live in Christ, to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you so that you may bear fruit. To live in Christ, not in the flesh.
When going though the pruning process it is so easy to walk in the flesh. Emotions rush in and the sin-nature rises. Abide... allow the Holy Spirit to be your comfort, your peace, your steadfast mind. Set your mind on Christ and Abide. Trust the pruning, because with out it there is no fruit. Abide.
Lord, help me to Abide. Help me to submit my flesh to you, so that you may continue to abide in me. May my life produce fruit, because apart from you, I can do nothing. Lord Abide in me.