Living a Christ-focused Life
In the early 1990’s when I just started out pastoring my first church, I was praying about what God’s calling and mission for me was in ministry. In my prayer time that morning I was reading Exodus 18 where Moses’ father-in-law was visiting Moses and his family. In Exodus 18: 19-20, Jethro advised Moses, “Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You are to be the people’s representative before God, and to bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do.” As I was reflecting on Exodus 18, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me about my calling and mission as a pastor. I was to intercede for the people I lead, bring their challenges and situations to God, teach them God’s ways and help them walk in God’s ways so that they fulfil their calling and mission in life. So, over the following 25+ years of ministry, this has been my purpose in ministry – to help people live Christ-focused lives.
What does living a Christ-focused life mean?
A Christ-focused life is lived where Christ is our focus in every decision, thought, action and behaviour we make. We enjoy being aware of his presence every moment of the day. In all our dealings and relationships, we want to glorify Christ.
We do not have a segment in our life called “sacred” and all the other segments called “secular”. All our work, family life, personal life, leisure moments, recreation and sleep are lived in the presence of Christ. There is no moment in your life where Christ is not present. Our life is lived being aware of this presence of Christ.
So how do we live this Christ-focused life?
The Bible helps us understand what this Christ-focused life looks like. In God, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17: 28). The Christ-focused life is lived by:
- doing everything in the authority and glory of Christ (Colossians 3: 17, 23-24; 1 Corinthians 10: 31)
- being constantly thankful (Ephesians 5: 20: 1 Thessalonians 5: 20)
- walking in the light of God (1 John 1: 5-7; Psalm 56: 13)
- embracing a life of worship (Romans 12: 1-2; Psalm 68: 3)
- placing our confidence in God (1 John 3: 21; Psalm 141: 8; Hebrews 4: 16)
- striving to please Christ (Ephesians 5: 10; Colossians 1: 10; 2 Corinthians 5: 9)
- living to God (Galatians 2: 19; Romans 14: 7-8)
I would like to invite you into this Christ-focused life. Putting Christ on the fringe of your life is not what being a Christian is all about. As I write this, I am reminded of the number of times whales are beached on a New Zealand shore. People spend hours pouring water over the whales trying to keep them alive, but pouring water over them is not the answer. The answer is getting them into the sea because that is where they are meant to live their lives. It’s the same as Christians. Coming to church alone is like pouring water on the whale. It is not what being a Christian is all about. Being a Christian means being immersed in Christ so that our lives are Christ-focused and we live experiencing the joy and peace that Christ offers.