Reading: Psalm 47:1-9
Living a God-centered life requires heartfelt worship. When we read this Psalm, we can see the words that express a strong, exuberant worship to God. When you devote all you are to God through worship, surrendering your cares and worries to Him, that is the expression of trust and true praise to Him. I love the words to "The Stand" by Hillsong that go "I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One Who gave it all. I'll stand, my heart Lord, to You surrendered..." A true expression of worship requires a full abandonment to God, showing how devoted your life is. The music doesn't need to move you in a worship song. Simply in everything you do should reflect your devotion to God. Your work should be for Him. Your daily tasks and the way you handle money are all testaments to Him. Let us never be ashamed to praise God, and may we always find ourselves with arms high and hearts abandoned for Him, giving our all to Him.
Reading: Luke: 18:1-30
Living a Christ-centered life takes prayer and full reliance on Him. When we come to God with our worries and requests, we must never give up asking Him. Jesus tells us a story about a persistent widow asking an injust judge for justice in a dispute. And though the judge turned her down again and again, the widow kept coming to him with her request, and finally the judge gives in, being driven crazy by the widow.
If this widow can go to an injust judge for her single problem, how much more will a just God listen to our prayers? We must remember, however, that God's answer for us may be yes, no, or not right now. He does after all, know what's best for us.
We also read that living a God-centered life requires humility. Much of what we do will show our humility. When we pray like the Pharisee and think of ourselves better than others, treating our faith as more than a ritual and almost as if we think God needs us more than we need Him, our hearts are in the wrong place completely, and things aren't going to end up the way you expect. However, we also get a view of the heart of a tax collector praying. Though the Pharisee sees himself as higher than him, the tax collector's heart is in a better place, as he sees his faults and bows before Fod, begging for forgiveness and grace, knowing he is a sinner. This tax collector knows he needs God. He doesn't put himself at the mercy of rituals and earning God's grace. He doesn't compare himself to others' short-comings. We are to have a heart like this man, knowing full well how much we need a Savior.
Jesus expresses the importance of having faith like a child in this reading. When we are children, we don't worry about tomorrow. We have full reliance on our parents. Children don't judge. They are humble and full of love. When we build our lives more around the faith like a child, we will find ourselves focused on Him, and not our own worlds. We don't have a set of set foresteucture on our own stubborn views of faith. Seeing Christ and the faith through a child's eyes may be just what some followers need.
Finally this section of reading shows us that a Christ-centered life requires full devotion to Him. We need to surrender everything to Him, and devote our lives to living and following His direction. This means we give up our own dreams, plans and possessions to Him. When we live lives with the focus of acquiring the success and stuff we will lose sight of our main focus. Being rich doesn't make entering heaven impossible, but it makes it higher risk to get the heart right. Check your motives and make sure you're following Christ fully, without any distractions in your life.
Reading: Deuteronomy 28:15-68
As we read about he disasters that can take place when we choose not to follow God, we can begin to realize why having a Christ-centered life is so crucial when it comes to obeying and serving Him. When we choose our own paths, it can spiral out of control and lead us down a road of destruction and separation from God. When we choose the world, we will get just the world and all the chaos it comes with. A life opposite of peace and joy. Perhaps we'll find temporary peace and joy, but never any that measure up to that we get from living God-centered lives. Choosing our own path is dangerous, and though we will end up choosing in the end, may we always choose the path God intends for us.
Living a God-centered life can sure be tough in a self-centered world. Remembering that we are not to make our goals and focus on things of this earth, but to place our emphasis and all that we are on God and His ways can take some work. Allow Him to guide you each day as you encounter each twist and turn. Keep Him the center, the focus, and the passion of your life.