READYJohn 15:5 (ESV)
“ I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Do you know that having a strong physical core is vital for not just your overall fitness but also daily activities that you engage in?
First, let us look at the word CORE!
According to Cambridge Dictionary, it means the basic and most important part of something; the essence; central and crucial element.
Any coach or athlete will understand the importance of building core muscles and core strength.
Basically, the core of a human is an interconnected group of back, hip, pelvic, glute, abdominal, and diaphragm muscles. Working on building core strength has numerous benefits, from improved posture, balance, stability, and movement to pain management and injury prevention (Healthline.com).
Why do I mention these aspects?
What is true for our physical core applies similarly or even strongly to our spiritual core.
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen stone, a precious (honored) Cornerstone, And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will never be disappointed [in his expectations].”1 Peter 2:6 (AMP)
Christ alone needs to take the rightful place in our lives.
He is indeed our cornerstone that holds every part of our being and life together.
Jesus used the analogy of a vine and its branches beautifully to help us understand the how we need to function in terms of our relationship with HIM!
The vine can be viewed as the core of a plant and Christ needs to be central to all that we think, do, and be!
CHRIST IS OUR CORE!
How can we then build a greater core for our lives in order to have greater pace and health to reach our greater potential as we looked at the last few weeks?
Jesus has laid it out distinctively in John 15:5 to us embrace the key to a greater spiritual core.
Below are four point built around the acronym CORE that I want to share with you.
“…you are the branches…”
The only way to be a branch is to be connected to the vine.
When there is no connection to the source, the branches die.
Your degree of connectedness to the vine will determine the capacity and quality of your ministry and family life.
Jesus needs to be in every part of your life.
Making time and space for Jesus allows your connection with Him to be enhanced and strengthened.
“…whoever abides in me and I in him…”
You are a new creation in Christ.
Therefore walk and run habitually like one, in the newness of life.
Only when you learn to abandon your old ways will you then start to live your life according to His Word, ways, and will.
“For if we have become one with Him [permanently united] in the likeness of His death, we will also certainly be [one with Him and share fully] in the likeness of His resurrection.”Romans 6:5 (AMP)
Make your body a welcome place for Christ to take residency in.
Draw near to Christ, hide and remain in Him, allowing His heart and character to be deeply embedded in yours.
“…I in him…”
This relationship with Christ needs to be proactive, intentional and authentic. It will require you to take intentional steps toward Christ.
His words need to be written on your heart and soul!
His words always require a response from the listener.
This means living God’s Word and applying it is what makes the difference.
We cannot be mere hearers and not doers because that will lead us into a veil of deceptive living (James 1:22).
WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?
Let this be a slogan for your life so that in every situation and every decision-making opportunity, there is active application of God’s Word by responding in Christlikeness.
“…for apart from me, you can do nothing…”
With God, all things are possible, but apart from Him, there is no way you can be effective in establishing the Kingdom of God, leading to fruitlessness in your life.
God has to be in the picture.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain”
Do not only start your race well with the Lord, but maintain your pacing and finish strong in the Lord.
Success, fame, possessions, and prizes often derail us, bringing us to a place of complacency and pride.
We start harbouring thoughts that we can now do it on our own.
THIS IS DANGEROUS! RETURN TO THE VINE!
To continue bearing fruit for the Kingdom is a sign of kingdom effectiveness.
Remind yourself that it is a partnership with Christ and apart from Him, you can do literally nothing.
Take time to return back to the core. Build a GREATER CORE so that you can finish well.
Mary did that ONE thing that was necessary and essential.
She sat at the feet of Jesus, worshipping, adoring, and waiting on the Lord.
She knew what it means to have a greater core. I encourage you to do likewise!
- Are there any parts of your life that is not effective now because of a weak core?
Reflect and pray over that area using the verses in the Workout.
- Which of the four point in the CORE acronym spoke to you most?
What is the Holy Spirit urging you to do?
- If you have been ignoring your core (both physical/spiritual), what can you start doing practically to build greater core strength in your life?
1 Peter 2:4-8; James 1:22; Romans 6:4-8; 1 Corinthians 15:58