What is at the centre of you?

What pulls or drives you from the inside?

Counsellors try and get inside our thoughts, our lives, our brokenness, to what’s really there. If you have a wise friend, they may ask you some questions that get to the heart of the matter.

When a problem arises, we try and get to the…middle of it…
When a success story happens, people wanna get to the…middle of it…
If we get to the middle of it, we can either solve the problem or duplicate the success story…

Here’s the question posed another way, if people defined us, you, our family, what would they find in the middle – at the heart – in our gut – in us?

If they got all the way to the middle of us, what would be there? Who would be there?

I recently heard Erwin McManus sharing a story about when he lost everything. It was a business fail, a financial collapse. He found out about it while overseas. Not wanting to inform his wife about this over the phone or email, he waited until he got home. He said, “Honey, I lost everything”. Her response? “I thought I was your everything”.

I’ve had the privilege of being mentored by a few people, some on purpose, others by accident.
Bill Morrow (a friend and mentor) would always tell me that when you lead worship, make sure people see through you and see Jesus instead.
Ron Kydd (a former professor) would say that when you preach, if people say, ‘you did great’ you kind of failed, they should instead be led to say, ‘Jesus is good’.

Hopefully, as followers of Jesus, as a church community, when people dig deep enough to get to the middle of us, they find one very prominent thing – JESUS.

You may recall, in our talk on community, and Paul’s words about the body of Christ, that very important chapter 12 in 1 Corinthians. It starts with some key words. It’s like Paul wanted to set things straight before saying anything about community.

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

This is your middle. This is your centre. This is your core. You can’t fully get anything else, until you get this. Jesus is Lord.

It’s not just that Paul says it, but it’s what he compares it too. You were somehow influenced by mute idols…small ‘g’ gods…that don’t communicate to you. Instead, be influenced by Jesus…he is Lord…he is God.

These three words are so key to understanding who we are as a community, and who we are as followers of Jesus. They’re also key in how others define and see us.

A few places in scripture lay this out for us:

2 Corinthians 4:5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…
Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

In the most simplest of forms, these words are a creed, a beautiful, short and sweet (yet powerful) statement of faith.

This was actually the Earliest of Christian Creeds. Sure, there are others, Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, that are longer and more detailed. However, the early Christ Followers new the power packed into this simple statement – it defined them, and it needs to define us.

This has to be at the core, the middle, the centre of who we are – Jesus is Lord.

JESUS is Lord

He’s a real person, rooted in history. Jesus was born, lived, worked, served, hurt, got sick, died…and of course rose again.

It’s Jesus, God, who became one of us. The word became flesh. The word for flesh here (John 1:14) is sarx, which means frail, human pain, brokenness.

It’s Jesus who is Lord, and not Caesar.
– this meant something in the 1st century
– It means something now
– If Jesus is Lord, that means, politics, money, religion, fame, work, fashion, fitness, status, is not.

Have you heard of the I AM SECOND campaign? It’s all about people recognizing that they don’t have to be the master of their life, they believe that position is best served by Jesus. Basically, that we’re better when we’re second to Jesus. And we are…definitely better when Jesus comes before anything else.

Jesus IS Lord

Paul wrote these lines at least 20 years after Jesus life and death. So he could’ve said, Jesus was Lord, but no, he says, Jesus is Lord. What does that mean for us? Well, Resurrection means that Jesus still IS Lord today. He WAS & IS & will always BE…alive…and Lord. See, “Jesus is Alive” is not just a line we reserve for Easter. Every Sunday is resurrection Sunday. Every day is resurrection day.

Because of this, Jesus IS Lord. Today. In me. In us. For me. For us. In You. For you.

Jesus is LORD

The word ‘lord’ had 3 primary uses in Jesus’ day.
– Sir (respect)
– Leader (one to follow)
– A substitute for the name of God (YHWY)
– All three work, but the middle term is the one we most associate with.

As Lord, Jesus leads, I follow. As Lord, Jesus teaches, I learn. As Lord, Jesus asks, I respond.

You might say, “Wait a second. I never asked for a leader. I don’t want a Lord.”

Perhaps, but whether we believe it or not, we all serve somebody. (said the poet and musician, Bob Dylan) We need to follow something greater than us – to learn, to grow, to become better, to mature.

The real question isn’t if I have a lord or master in my life, the question is, what or who is it? When attached to the wrong lord or master, we get hurt, become unhealthy, unbalanced, broken, disillusioned, mis-led. You’ve seen this before…when money is someone’s lord, when status is someone’s master, when affirmation is someone’s ruler, it never ends well.

Name it. Anything. Fill in the _______. We’ve all put something in that spot that has no business being there.

Here’s why Jesus is your best option:

Colossians 1:15
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
(No one shows what God is like better than Jesus. Jesus is the clearest picture of God we have.)

John 14:6
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

This text causes some to pause. I get it. THE way. THE truth. THE life. How arrogant can Jesus be?

But here’s why this verse makes sense. Jesus isn’t just a path to God, he’s the person of God. So…the path and the person are one. Jesus isn’t simply a road, a path, a highway to get somewhere. He is the somewhere. He’s not the yellow brick road that gets you to the Wizard. He’s the Way and the Wizard. (Hope the Wizard of Oz mention doesn’t throw you off too much)

If Jesus is Lord – if Jesus is God, it makes perfect sense that he is the way to get to know him, the truth to understand him, and the life to live in him.


I guess this is the question we need to land on:

What or who do you want to centre your life around? Money? Stuff? Success? Good times? Affirmation? Power? Cause if any of those things are our lord…our master…our ruler, we’re in big trouble.

 THIS. IS. US. I hope and pray that we always land on Jesus. Because JESUS. IS. US. 

This phrase may sum it up well:

The only way l’ll be at the centre of what Jesus is up to in the world, my neighbourhood, my community, is when I invite Jesus to be at the centre of me, my heart, my life, my world.

– – – – – – – –

small(er) group discussion:

What are some initial thoughts about this week’s conversation?

Let’s look at this simple statement of faith in three ways or from three different perspectives:

JESUS is Lord

Jesus IS Lord

Jesus is LORD

Read these two verses to close things off. How do you feel about them? What do they say about Jesus? What steps have they encouraged you to take or challenge you to take?

Romans 10:9
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
John 14:6
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.