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What is your center?

April 16, 2015

targetThese days many churches are centered. There is even a book recently published called Center Church. The professed center of the church is not the same in every church. Some are gospel-centered. Some are Christ-centered. Some are grace-centered. Some churches do no use centered terminology. Some have a focus, others have a vision, others have a purpose and many profess no core philosophy. Even if the core, pivotal principle of ministry is not defined or even acknowledge, one exists. Every church, and every Christian, operates according to a single driving belief or principle that guides everything.

The popular expressions of being something-centric seemed to have neglected a major Biblical theme. The Bible does not leave the Christian without instruction on what is to be the supreme motivating principle of life. The letter to the Ephesians opens with a glorious description of God’s eternal plan to redeem men. It describes the Father’s role in that plan, the Son’s role and the Spirit’s role. For each person of the Trinity Paul defines the Divine reasoning behind the eternal plan to save. In verse 6 it says, “To the praise of the glory of His grace.” In verse 12 it says, “That we should be to the praise of His glory.” Verse 14 says, “Unto the praise of His glory.” God the Father eternally planned to save that He would be praised. God the Son purchased redemption that He would be praised. The Holy Spirit secures and seals that redemption that He will be praised. The central purpose of Christian has to be the glory of God. The central purpose of the church has to be the glory of God.

Everything else in life and ministry has to revolve around that single point. All else are means to an end. The glory of God drives the preaching of the gospel so He will be glorified by the repentance and worship of those who were hateful idolaters. The glory of God drives the preaching of the cross so He will be glorifed by those awe and praise of those who have been redeemed by His awesome grace.

If life or ministry does not turn around the single aim of increasing the praise of God’s glory, then that life has settled for something less. Life and ministry may be centered around something good, or even Biblical. A life centered on the cross, the gospel, the grace of God or obedience to the Word is a life that reaches for less than the pinnacle. A life lived to the glory of God is a life that encompasses all other Christian privileges and places them in their proper place as means to the greatest end imaginable. The glory of God is not a catch phrase, a slogan or a pie in sky dream. The glory of God is a tangible reality that has immediate and practical effects on everything we do.

The eternal plan of God to redeem people was put into action to accomplish His eternal purpose of being praised forever. The gospel is for the glory of God. The cross was for the glory of God. The indwelling Holy Spirit is for the glory of God. The free grace of God is for the glory of God. The church is for the glory of God. A transformed life is for the glory of God. The believer’s rejection of sin is for the glory of God. Grace filled speech and relationships are for the glory of God. Diligent obedience is for the glory of God. Resisting the devil is for the glory of God. Entering the spiritual battle is for the glory of God. Diligent prayer is for the glory of God. Preaching the gospel to the lost is for the glory of God. All that God did to accomplish salvation, all that God is doing to perfect the believer’s salvation and all that God is doing through His servants to spread the message of salvation to all nations is for His glory.

In the end all creation will stand and praise God. All the church will declare His marvelous grace and eternally shout His praise. The eternal glory of God must be the believers center. If it’s anything else, life and ministry will be off balance and you’ll wobble as you ride down the path of life.

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