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Christ At The Center

Philippians 1:3-5: I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.

One of the sweet pleasures in life is to be with close friends and share together. There are all manner of things to talk about, but have you ever noticed that with some friends, even Christians, it is hard to talk about Christ and even harder to keep the conversation on Him? They seem to grow uncomfortable when the talk turns to Christ, His Word and how their lives intertwine with the gospel and faith. Conversation with these people will soon become superficial and dry up.

Paul rejoices in the Philippians because they share a fellowship, or the ESV version says, a partnership with the gospel. Fellowship happens as Paul and these believers share a unified vision – that being, to promote the gospel of Jesus and thus bring glory to God. Friendship is good, but fellowship centered around the gospel is better. I have a friend whom I meet with once a week. Our conversation centers on Christ. Sometimes after spending a couple of hours together, we may raise the topic of our family, or our work situation, but mostly we talk about Jesus and what we are learning through the Word. It is rich, deep conversation. And it is a rarity. Out of the friends I have been blessed with, this is the only one that provides fellowship in the gospel (other than one friendship overseas!)

True fellowship results in great joy for one another. Joy because our fellow believer is walking in the Truth. 3 John 4 says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” We cannot help but be filled with joyful praise and delight when we come together with those we love and converse with about the Truth. Encouragement in this way brings untold pleasure, binds us together and is truly life-giving.

Philippians 2:21: For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

How is it then, that we can intentionally foster God-centered and spiritually deep conversations with those who are not interested in speaking the things of Christ? How can we help to foster a yearning in others to put Christ at the center? Boldness in love, not timidity in fear of causing offense, is what we need. If these loved ones are our friend, and if they are loved ones, let’s be brave and caring enough to ask them how they are progressing in their walk with Jesus. What have they been learning in the Scriptures? How can we pray for them? What are their struggles just now? Is there a scripture that we can look at together that will be helpful for them? What is hindering their spiritual journey? These are caring questions that we can offer to our friends, challenging them to put Christ at the center, not the peripheral, of their lives and their friendship with others. Transformation is the work of the Spirit, but God will use His children to be the means to spur others on the road to spiritual growth.

1 Corinthians 16:14: Let all that you do be done in love.

And if they are not ready and responsive to our genuine care, pray for them, that God might open the eyes of their understanding, revealing the wonder and truth of the Scriptures to them. Knowledge puffs us up, but love brings edification, so let’s ensure we humbly approach our brothers and sisters in Christ as we encourage them towards maturity.

My hope is that the fellowship shared with my girlfriend once a week, will become not just two people, but more. That we would be spurred on to invite others who are hungry to learn and grow through the Word. May the Spirit of God move upon our hearts to reach out with courage and a genuine love as we seek to partner together in the fellowship of the gospel, to the glory of God!

Holy Spirit, stir within each of us a passion for Jesus. A passion to read and grow in Your Holy Word and a passion to lovingly share You with others, especially those who claim to know You, Lord. Awaken them to You. Amen.”

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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3 comments

  1. So true and so well said. Iron sharpening iron, and fellowship in honoring the LORD, so powerful.
    Thank you, Jennifer, for this post!
    Blessings~

  2. I total agree.
    One thing that seems to perk people’s interest in thinking about God is in His unending ways He has created the world and all life.
    When I hear such programs such as Creation Moments, I am mesmerized by the intricacies of His wisdom and precision. Nothing flawed, no do overs, all in perfect harmony and orderly in accordance to His word and it comes together.
    When people start to marvel at the things they see and hear about attributed to the only true Creator, it sparks their interest in Him. They can become profoundly interested in knowing more about Him.
    People can be turned off about this subject because of religions that teaches a works type of relationship that requires hardships instead of a relationship with the Lord and fellowshipping with this majestic Creator who has all the answers and remedies for our lives.
    Jesus stated that the soil of their hearts are a factor as the cares of this world chokes their lives and the become self absorbed as well.
    Thank you for sharing this important insight.

  3. we need fellowship so much

    a child was once asked what fellowship was

    he said its two fellows in a ship

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