the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
Although I am not one for making New Year's resolutions, I don't think there is anything wrong with beginning the new year with a commitment to seek first Christ and his kingdom. Hence, over the next three weeks I would like to encourage you to ameliorate your walk with the Lord in three specific areas.
First, I suggest that each of us resolve to make Jesus Christ the center of our reality. If you claim Jesus Christ as Savior then you probably feel this is already the case. Now, I'm not suggesting everyone is automatically deficient in their commitment to Jesus but you might try asking yourself, to whom or what do you look with the attitude you should reserve for Jesus Christ? In other words, upon whom or what do you depend?
The Bible has a lot to say about complaining and murmuring – and none of it good! You see, to complain is to show the world you really aren't all that loyal to Jesus Christ after all. To complain is to say that God has handed you a bum deal and if it was up to you, things would be much different. Obviously this doesn't show much commitment to the plan God has for your life. If Jesus Christ is the center of your reality, you should not complain about your situation in life but should rest in him and diligently seek his face for the role he would have you play in his cosmic drama.
Closely akin to complaining is worry. If Jesus Christ is the center of your reality you should not worry but should depend upon him. Yes, it's tough when there is more month than money but our Lord owns the cattle on 1000 hills so there is no doubt can provide for you. You might ask yourself; are you walking in obedience before the Lord? Are you even trying? Are you making an effort to grow in Christ likeness (1Timothy 4:7-8) if not, then don't expect his blessing.
If Jesus Christ is the center of your reality, you should not be guilty of neglect. In other words, if Jesus is the most important thing in your life, you will look forward to prayer, Bible study and fellowship with other Christians.
The bottom line is we cannot make Jesus Christ the center of our being if we are unwilling to submit to him completely. And commitment is shown in action rather than mere words (James 2:18). The first step in submitting our life to Jesus is to recognize those things we hang onto for security instead of Christ. Once we have discovered what it is that really sits on the throne of our heart we can take the steps to rectify the situation.
We should desire a Christ centered life simply because it pleases our Lord. This does not mean we will not benefit from walking in obedience to Jesus. In fact, until we do make Jesus the center of our reality we will be among the most unhappy of people. Riding the fence is an uncomfortable position. If we claim Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and yet refuse to live according to his word we should not expect to experience the grace and peace of God. This doesn't mean God will ignore us but when we wander away from the path of righteousness God's providential care takes the form of chastisement – and that isn't pleasant. Moreover, if we fail to live a Christ centered life, we should not expect the peace that comes from a strong assurance of our salvation.
Next week: let each of us resolve to seek true Christ likeness.