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PHILPPIANS 1:1 CHRIST CENTEREDNESS

It is with great joy and gratitude that I write to you today, reminding you of the centrality of Christ in our lives as believers. As we navigate the challenges and joys of this life, it is crucial that we remain Christ-centered in all that we do.

The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, models for us what it means to live a Christ-centered life. He begins his letter by identifying himself as a servant of Christ Jesus, and addressing his letter to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi. He then goes on to offer thanksgiving and prayer for these believers, acknowledging the grace and peace that comes from Christ alone.

As we read further into Paul’s letter, we see how he models Christ-centeredness in his own life. Despite being imprisoned and facing persecution for his faith, Paul’s focus remains on Christ and the advancement of the gospel. He writes, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

This Christ-centered perspective is not just for Paul, but for all believers. We are called to follow Christ’s example, to set our minds on things above, and to seek first the kingdom of God (Colossians 3:2, Matthew 6:33). When we make Christ the center of our lives, everything else falls into place.

Christ-centeredness means acknowledging that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). We cannot earn our salvation through good works or personal achievements, but it is a free gift from God. It means recognizing that Christ is the head of the church, and that we are called to submit to his lordship in all areas of our lives (Colossians 1:18).

Christ-centeredness also means living in obedience to Christ’s commands. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). This includes loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). When we obey Christ’s commands, we demonstrate our love for him and grow in our relationship with him.

Living a Christ-centered life also means putting off our old selves and putting on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24). This requires daily surrender to Christ, allowing him to transform us from the inside out. As we become more like Christ, we bear his image to the world and glorify him in all that we do.

One of the ways we can cultivate Christ-centeredness in our lives is through prayer and meditation on God’s word. When we spend time in prayer and study of the Bible, we are reminded of who Christ is and what he has done for us. We are strengthened in our faith and equipped to live for him.

Another way we can cultivate Christ-centeredness is by participating in Christian community. As believers, we are called to live in community with one another, encouraging and building one another up in the faith (Hebrews 10:24-25). When we gather together as the body of Christ, we are reminded of our common purpose and encouraged to keep our focus on Christ.

In conclusion, I want to encourage you, dear saints in Christ Jesus, to remain steadfast in your Christ-centeredness. As we follow Christ’s example, obey his commands, and put off our old selves, we become more like him and bring glory to his name. May we continue to grow in our love for Christ and our desire to live for him, knowing that he is the source of all grace and peace.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Philippians 4:23).

It is my prayer that as we continue to seek Christ and make him the center of our lives, we will experience the fullness of joy and peace that comes from knowing him. May we be like Paul, who could say with confidence, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Let us not be discouraged by the challenges we may face as we strive to live a Christ-centered life. Instead, let us be encouraged by the promise of Christ’s presence with us always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). As we abide in him, we can be confident that he will guide us, strengthen us, and empower us to live for his glory.

In closing, I want to leave you with the words of Paul in Philippians 2:5-11, which beautifully express the exaltation of Christ and the call to emulate his humility:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

May we follow Christ’s example of humility and obedience, and may his name be exalted in all that we do.

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TTN

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