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Christ at the Center
A few of you are old enough to remember "The Four Spiritual Laws" from Campus Crusade for Christ. Reading this tract from a Lutheran point of view presents a few problems. There are also some worthwhile points in these pages.
Below this article, you should see an illustration I first saw in "The Four Spiritual Laws." It is a way of picturing your life (the circle). In your life you have many things to balance: work, family, community, Church, hobbies, entertainment, and so forth. In the center of your life is a throne. The point of the drawing is to ask: who (or what) is on the "throne" of your life? Said another way, what (or who) is at the center of your life?
This particular drawing has Jesus (represented by a "J") on the throne with Self (represented by an "S") next to the throne. It makes a good point about what the Christian life should look like.
As Christians, we aspire to have Christ at the center. The truth is, there are so many pressures in life that push Jesus out of the center (or off of the throne). It would be nice if it were just a simple choice of having Jesus on the throne or Self on the throne. My life is more complex. Fear, the demands of someone else, or just exhaustion can push Jesus out of the center and make me feel like I am spiraling out of control.
By God's grace, He keeps reminding me, not only of the catastrophic results of putting anything but Jesus at the center of my life, but also of all the blessings that are mine in Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." (Ephesians 1:3-4)
God takes the pressure off of my life. He gave me this blessing by choosing me to be His child in the far-distant-past and by the promise of being with Him forever in the not-so-distant future. All this He did through Christ's perfect life, innocent death, and glorious resurrection. All this, He did for you and me.
Take a moment now to read Ephesians 1:3-14 and to reflect on how God has taken the pressure off of your life. With the pressure off, God in His mercy allows you to put Christ in His rightful place at the center of your life.
Pastor Dan Czaplewski