October 2016 Director's Encouragement Letter [Topic: Being Christ-Centered]

Dear Friend,

We as Christians talk frequently about our desire to be Christ-Centered, but what do we mean? How do we go about it? Do we put Him first in a list of important relationships: Christ first, spouse second, then children, friends, and so on? Are we to mention Him whenever we speak, work, perform, or play?

Is it thinking about Him all the time or attempting to act as He acted? Maybe it’s sharing the gospel or keeping the commandments. Having a quiet time; attending church; caring for the needy. The options seem endless leaving many of us struggling to put Christ first and keep Him there.

The difficulty with this whole approach to Christ-Centeredness is that it’s dependent upon us. It requires that we always do what needs to be done to keep Christ at the center and in first position.

The concept of Christ-Centeredness in Scripture definitely isn’t built on self-centeredness. Colossians 1:18 says He occupies first place, stands supreme, and will be preeminent in everything whether we acknowledge it or not.

What then is biblical Christ-Centeredness? It’s actually two fold. First, it’s not about where Christ is but where we are. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, "By His doing you are in Christ Jesus,..." When we became Christians, God the Father placed us in Christ, centering us in Him. Scripture also says that Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27). He is our center, our core, our very life (Colossians 3:4)!

So Christ-Centeredness isn’t about us trying to place and keep Christ in a position of prominence. It’s us learning that we’re centered in Christ, and that, He’s also centered in us. Our centeredness is by God’s doing, and so it’s unchanging and true even if our thoughts and feelings don’t agree.

I would like to encourage you to discover just how Christ-Centered you are. Look up every verse you can find in a NASB, ESV, or KJV translation that has the phrase "in Christ", "in Christ Jesus", "in the Lord", "in God", "in Him", "in Whom", "in His Son", "with Christ", "in them", "in us", and "in you." You’ll find numerous verses if you go book by book starting with Romans and ending in Jude.

For 30 years one of our specialties at ELM has been equipping people to understand and live from their centeredness in Christ. We’d be honored to join you in your journey as well. Our web site (elmco.org) is a great place to start with blog articles, resources, and recommended reading. You can also contact us to learn more about our discipleship counseling, training events, or even how to bring us to your area.

Here’s a head start in your search for verses: You abide in God and He in you (1 John 4:15). Happy hunting!
Mike
Mike Roncaglia, Executive Director

Mike Roncaglia is the Executive Director of Exchanged Life Ministries. He has been on staff since 2011 but has been connected with the ministry 25+ years. He is a speaker, teacher, writer, administrator, and counselor. He is happliy married to Jill and they have a son Jonas.