We’re always starting new things, whether they’re new jobs, new semesters, new D-Groups, new walks of life, or even just new mindsets. As you begin anything, you want to be sure you start strong.
When I was in college ministry, one of my favorite things was that even if the current semester didn’t seem to be an especially good one, you could always begin again next semester. The same is true for those of us who aren’t in college. Sometimes, you just need a fresh start—and that start can be today.
Billy Graham helps us as we learn to begin well:
The strongest principle of life and blessing lies in our choices. Our lives are the sum total of the choices we make, both consciously and unconsciously. If we can control the process of choosing, then we can control all the aspects of our lives. So, start with what is best, instead of what is acceptable.
If you don’t make a decision to do what’s best, then time will always make it for you; and time will always side against you.
Live a Christ-Centered Life
When Jesus grew, Luke 2:52 tells us that he grew in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man. Any child growing up is going to increase in stature from the time they are born until they’re fully grown, but Jesus also grew with a focus on his spiritual life. He kept God in the center.
Read what Paul wrote to the Colossians:
14 Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:14-17)
This passage shows us three essentials for living a Christ-centered life. A believer living with Jesus at the heart of it is someone whose
- Heart is ruled by His peace
- Mind is filled with His Word
- Life is lived for His glory
The Peace of Christ
When our hearts are ruled by Christ’s peace, we will be both at peace with God and filled with the kind of peace only He provides.When our hearts are ruled by Christ’s peace, we will be both at peace with God and filled with the kind of peace only He provides. Click To Tweet
In Romans 5:1, Paul wrote, “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Being at peace with God means that we are not at odds with Him. Our hearts have been aligned to His—our wants have become His wants. There is not any hint of animosity between us.
But we should also be filled with the kind of peace that only God can provide. We can make sure to grow this kind of peace in our hearts by doing the following:
Living by His principles
“Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Psalm 85:10)
Spending time in prayer
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)
Practicing His presence
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Paul told the Roman church to let peace rule their hearts in the same way that an umpire or a referee rules a game. When you let the peace of Christ “rule” your heart, you will not allow anyone or anything to disqualify you from winning the prize. The peace of Christ will guard you and guide you so that you live a life worthy of the gospel, a Christ-centered, God-honoring life.