When I was in high school I took a class on gun safety at the police station. I took this class as a part of NJROTC. After the class we were invited to the shooting range in the basement of the police station. We were taught how to aim the rifle while standing, kneeling and in the prone position. Always we aimed for the center of the target.
God, in his divine wisdom, placed Christ Jesus in the center of our salvation. He is the source of salvation (Hebrews 5:9). Without Jesus there is no salvation. Without Jesus, there is no hope. Without Jesus, there is no forgiveness of sin. All of creation owes their grace-filled existence to the one redeemer of the universe the only begotten Son of God, Jesus the Messiah.
Upon first realizing the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we begin a new life, changed for eternity. No longer are we nobody with no hope, but we are a people. We are sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. With our new identity, we begin to live no longer for ourselves but for him who died for our salvation (2 Corinthians 5:15). Empowered by the Holy Spirit we carry forth the work of Christ as his ambassadors.
Living for Christ and not for ourselves means that we live not to succumb to our fleshly desires, but “we live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). When we live totally for the Son of God our decisions are influenced by him. The way we relate to others is influenced by Christ; how we take care of our bodies is influenced by Christ; how we handle our money is influenced by Christ; how we discipline our children is influenced by Christ. Our entire life is to be influenced by Christ.
What do we do when we make poor decisions and don’t live godly lives? When we find ourselves in the middle of sin or about to sin, we can call on Jesus and put him in the center of our life at that moment. When we cry out to Jesus we cannot continue in the sin as Christ takes away the desire and we walk away.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)
When Christ is the center of our lives, our attention, our focus, then all else loses its power. When our thoughts turn negative and we start blaming others or ourselves, call on Christ. When we feel that we need to “stretch the truth,” call on Christ. When we feel sickness coming on, call on Christ. When we begin to worry, stress, obsess about something or someone, call on Christ.
Each one of us should be able to fill in the blank. “When I am feel _____________, I will call on Jesus.” He died on the cross in order to save us and to become the center of our lives reconciling us to the Father.