God Centered Living
December 29, 2023
by Josh Moody
We are made by God. We are not our own. Whether we live abundantly wicked lives, or good old fashioned clean living lives, a life that is not surrendered to God is not life as the Bible defines it. We are the walking dead even if we physically live if our life is not God-centered (Ephesians 2:1).
Take the illustration of someone renting a room in someone else’s house. They may keep their room clean. They may not trash it or play loud music at 3 in the morning. But if they do not pay rent, they are, however nicely, living in a room that is not giving what they owe to the owner of the house. Similarly, if we live nice comfortable lives but don’t give our due to God, then we are not living life as designed by the Creator. Jesus makes a similar point with His parable of the tenants of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-41). A life that is lived for ourselves, however nicely, is no less offensive to a holy God than a debaucherous life. A God-centered life is the only life that is worthy of the name life.
The gospel of God (a “God-centered gospel”) is the message that redeems, enables, empowers, declares, justifies, regenerates, and inspires us to live lives for God’s honor and glory. This gospel is not a simple little tract but the overarching theme of the Bible and music of the universe. It is not just the ABC of the Christian life; it is the A-Z: Christ is the Alpha and Omega.
Life lived for God, centered upon God, is the life that not only honors God, but is the life that, paradoxically, most fulfills us too. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).
- By repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. If the gospel is not only the ABC of the Christian life but also the A-Z, then my progress in living in a God-centered way will be developed by my focus upon Christ and His Gospel. Colossians makes this point very clear: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). This is not a passive process but an active deliberate determination, in dependence upon God, His Spirit, and in focus upon the gospel, we are to “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (Colossians 3:5).
- By committed fellowship with a local Bible teaching church. The New Testament has no category for a Christian who is not a part of a local church. Period. None. Search if you like but you will search in vain for the individualistic Christian. The old illustration is still the best: take the burning coal out of the fireplace and it will soon go cold; put it back in again and it will quickly come back to life.
- By proclamation to others of the self-same gospel. “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 6). Evangelism is a great safeguard against dullness in Christian God-centered living because it helps us see again the power of the gospel.
- By committed Bible reading and prayer, personally and corporately in worship together. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
This article is reprinted from June 2011.
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