Is Christ Your Central Focus?

Scripture: (John 15:4) 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.    
Ofttimes we sing songs that we don’t 100% believe or are willing to do. The melody and the lyrics get us. They flow so nicely and cause us to feel all warm inside. Many songs will have you making promises to God that you don’t plan to keep. “Yes,” by Shekinah Glory Ministry, is a beautiful song that asks a simple question: Would your heart and soul still say yes if God told you what He really needed from you? Would your heart and soul say “yes,” if you realized that God required more of you? The song goes on to say, open up your heart and tell the Lord you won’t stray. Tell the Lord that you have made up in your mind this time to do His will, to go where He leads, to say what He wants you to say. The song says tell the Lord “yes;” tell the Lord that you won’t be afraid, that you will step out on His word and declare His glory. Tell the Lord that you want to do His will. And even when the Lord is calling you higher, you will do what is necessary even when it is scary or doesn’t feel good. In all reality, as Believers, this is what we want to say, but in order to truly say “yes” to the Lord, He must be the center of our life. In order to do God’s will we must make Christ our central focus. When we make Christ our central focus, we find that we can be in a state of happiness and satisfaction no matter what. When Christ is our central focus, we have contentment; which is different from happiness. Contentment is a long-lasting feeling that is accompanied by peacefulness, gratitude, and satisfaction. While happiness is an experience or feeling that is created by positive thinking, joy, pride, and even laughter. When we make Christ our central focus, we recognize that we can endure and do more than we could ever imagine. Richard Smallwood wrote a song, that sums what having Jesus as your central focus looks like. He penned these words:

Jesus, You are the center of my joy;
All that’s good and perfect comes from You.
You’re the heart of my contentment, hope for all I do;
Jesus, You’re the center of my joy.
When I’ve lost my direction, You’re the compass for my way;
You’re the fire and light when nights are long and cold.
In sadness, you are the laughter, that shatters all my fears;
When I’m alone, your hand is there to hold
You are why I find pleasure in the simple things in life.
You’re the music in the meadows and the streams.
The voices of the children, my family, and my home;
You’re the source and finish of my highest dreams--
Richard Smallwood finishes with
You are my everything (Jesus) everything (yes are)
Everything (the center) Everything (of my joy).
You’re my joy (Jesus) in my sorrow (You are)
You’re my hope (the center) for tomorrow (of my joy)
When I’m lonely (Jesus), feeling sad (You are)
You’re the lifter (the center) of my head
You’re my music (Jesus), You’re my song (you are)
You’re my joy (the center) all day long (of my joy)
Jesus, you’re the center of my joy….

Now, ask yourself, is Jesus indeed the center of your joy? Can you emphatically say “yes” all the time? Or does doubt and fear sometimes take His place? Human frailty can set us up to replace Christ with a feeling. When this happens, we must remember that feelings are not facts, they are temporary, while everything about Christ is permanent, stable, and secure. Knowing this we can confidently say, He is the center of our joy. And thus, being able to confidently say, “yes, Lord, to Your will and to Your way.” Oh, yes, it’s okay to praise Him simply for who He is!!!!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being a lamp unto our feet, thank You for being a compass when we get lost. Forgive us, Father, when we stray, when we allow feelings to take Your place. Thank you, Lord, for grace and mercy and for Your Son, Jesus the Christ, who died on the cross for our sins. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
(by Patricia Towns)

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