Sunday, December 14, 2014

Joy...Jesus at the center

We have often heard the acronym for JOY being: "J" for having Jesus first in your life; "O" is for placing others second; and "Y" is for placing yourself last. However, I recently heard a new praise and worship song, Jesus At The Center,” performed here by Darlene Zschech, which shifts our focus to...
        Jesus at the center of our lives,
                 Jesus at the center of our marriages,
                         Jesus at the center of our families,
                                  Jesus at the center of our homes,
                                           Jesus at the center of our work,
                                Jesus at the center of our relationships with others,
                     Jesus at the center of our churches.

It’s all about Jesus.
That is what brings me joy...Jesus at the center of my life...from the inside-out, from the innermost part of me where the Spirit of Christ dwells, not dependent on my circumstances. 

“When the Spirit of Christ controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23—Living Bible

I was reminded of a quote included in the book Sherrie Eldridge and I co-authored, Under His Wings, from the book, The Art of Intimacy, by Thomas Patrick Malone, M.D. & Patrick Thomas Malone, M.D.:

"Intimacy is derived from the Latin word, ‘intima,’ meaning ‘inner’ or ‘innermost.’”  

                 Innermost—the center of it all.

I experience joy
as I pray God’s Word...

“May the Spirit of Christ Who dwells in the innermost part of me, take authority over my soul (the seat of my emotions) and my body (my fleshly desires and appetites)”

          ...taken from these Scriptures...

I Thessalonians 5:23-24—May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

I Corinthians 6:17—But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

I Corinthians 3:16—Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you. 

I experience joy when every part of me--body, soul, and spirit--is surrendered to the wise, loving, and liberating authority of the Spirit of Christ who dwells in the innermost part of me--joy is the fruit of His authority.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.—James 1:2 ESV

Greek-American Bible scholar, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, explains that the Greek word for “count” in this verse should be translated, “’think forward, consider, regard.’ As you live in the present, consider the future, think forward to the future.”

That was the phrase that got me, “think forward to the future” … learning to look at our situation from God’s perspective, just like Jesus…

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God—Hebrews 12:2 NASB

I was greatly encouraged by this story about missionary Andrew Murray, who, in 1895, was suffering with terrible back pain from a previous injury. One morning while eating breakfast in his room, his hostess told him of a woman downstairs who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any advice for her. Andrew Murray handed her a paper he had been writing on and said, “Give her this advice I’m writing down for myself. It may be that she’ll find it helpful.” This is what was written:

In time of trouble, say, “First, God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest.” Next, “He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.” Then say, “He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to bestow.” And last, say, “In His good time He can bring me out again. How and when, He knows.” Therefore, say, “I am here (1) by God’s appointment, (2) in His keeping, (3) under His training, and (4) for His time.”

Was this encouraging to you? Please feel free to leave your comments in the box below, I’d love to hear from you.

Linking up with Holley Gerth and Heather Faria as an encourager.



  1. Beth, your post today was both timely and very encouraging.... I have copied into my prayer journal. That advise from Andrew Murray is superb!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    I look forward to all you have for us in the New Year.
    I think I have my word for 2015....and would be interested to hear yours by email if you feel like sharing.
    LOVE and agree with you in this : It’s all about Jesus. That is what brings me joy...Jesus at the center of my life...from the inside-out, from the innermost part of me where the Spirit of Christ dwells, not dependent on my circumstances.
    Powerful indeed and my heart agrees.
    God Bless you Beth !
    Love, Mary.

    1. Thank you so much for your ever-encouraging comments! You always take time to share with me what is on your heart...what a blessing from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ you are to me...I appreciate you so much ❤️

  2. Yes! Jesus at the center of it all! That is a fulfilled life. stopping by from coffee for the heart link up :) blessings to you

    1. Danise, thank you so much for stopping by from Holley's place to leave such an encouraging comment. I loved your post on mountain climbing today, also. Many blessings :)

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing these truths! This so speaks to me, along with what Holley shared. Praise God! As I read this I thought of Gwen Smith's song entitled "Center of My Surrender." - ( God continue to bless you richly!

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for leaving your sweet comments. I love the link you sent to Gwen Smith's song, "Center of My Surrender"...I had not heard it before, but it is beautiful, and so true! Many blessings to you and your family :)

  4. This is such a great post especially at this time of year - to remember that Christ is at the Centre of Christmas - thank you for this.

    1. Tania, thank you so much for taking time to stop by and leave such an encouraging comment. Many blessings to you and your family this Christmas :)

  5. That is an amazing quote!
    It is all because of Jesus and for Jesus. :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by from over at Holley's this week, Sarah! I always appreciate so much you taking time to leave an encouraging is just as appreciated as a hand-written card...many blessings to you :)


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