2 Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
This whole passage is so rich, with verse after verse that have resonated through the ages. I had to pray for a while to ask the Lord which part of this treasure to focus on this morning! That said, He led me to settle on this verse. The hymn, Living for Jesus, has been around for quite a while now, and it is based theologically on this verse. It has been said, rightly I think, that you can tell a church’s theology by what they sing. Song lyrics are likely to stay in people’s hearts longer than words from sermons. The world today is vigorously insisting on the opposite of this verse, saying that we are to live for ourselves. However, as I tell people in almost every counseling session I give, being self-centered is never the way to genuine happiness. At best, such an attitude gives us fleeting pleasure. People live for others in various ways, with parents often living for their children or spouses living for each other. Some people live for their company, but all of these things, though better than being completely self-centered, have real limits. Such people are devastated when the one for whom they lived is taken from them, or in the case of a company, they are fired or even retire. However, when we live for Jesus we have no risk of that at all! As Paul famously wrote to the Romans, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) Christ is eternal, and is both the giver of eternal live and the true purpose of eternal life. Living for Him is the ultimate “trip,” the way to ultimate blessing and glory.
Of course this applies to me. Despite knowing better, I live entirely too much of my life for myself, instead of for Christ. My own motives are suspect. Do I desire the church to grow for my benefit, or so that God may be pleased by people being added to the Body of Christ? Do I desire that the Holy Spirit be poured out – particularly since this is Pentecost Sunday – for a great harvest in the Kingdom, or so that people will be “straightened out” and not be so much trouble to me? I am to renew my commitment daily, moment-by-moment if necessary, to Jesus Christ as my Lord, to live for Him before and above all else. I am to seek Him in and for everything, allowing Him to use me however He likes, since He has already given all of Himself for me.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your guidance and anointing as I was praying as I drove around to the different churches in town this morning. I do pray that this would be Pentecost indeed in every church, that the townspeople would be stirred up, wanting to know what happened and repenting and believing so that they too would acknowledge Jesus as Lord and live for Him, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!