To live an effective life for Christ, one must live it for Christ. Sounds obvious, right? Of course.
But living for Christ is something that is so commonly said and thought of in Christian culture that I think it’s just another thing on the list that has lost it’s meaning.
Let’s look at the definition below and consider, what does it really look like to live for Christ?
[fawr; unstressed fer] preposition
To live for Christ is to GAIN CHRIST.
It’s about purpose. It’s a goal that I’m striving for. Am I living in such a way that I’m receiving Christ, gaining Christ, knowing Christ? Are the decisions I make drawing me closer to Christ? If I say I am living for Christ, then that’s exactly what I should be getting — Christ.
To live for Christ is to live for the PURPOSES OF CHRIST.
It’s so easy to live for myself, which is about MY purpose. MY goals. MY wants. MY desires. MY kingdom. To live for Christ means living for HIS purposes. HIS goals. HIS wants. HIS desires. HIS kingdom. It requires a 180 from the living we did before Christ. It requires looking like a fool from time to time because HIS purposes are above and beyond our own and the world will never understand.
To live for Christ is to BE HIS POSSESSION.
FOR indicates belonging. I must belong to Christ. I cannot live for Christ if I do not belong to Him. In fact, I wouldn’t want to gain Christ, I wouldn’t want to seek His ways over my own, if I didn’t belong to Him. To live for Christ means that I am a tool in His box, clay on His wheel, and nothing more. I am His possession to use as He wills. Which leads to the next point…
To live for Christ is to be USED IN CONNECTION WITH HIM.
To be used in connection with Christ means turning my life upside down. First of all, let me reiterate that it’s not something that I personally decide to do, but it’s what He is doing. I surrender my life to Him, seek Him, desiring to gain Him, and laying down my rights to my way and my goal and my life in order to be His tool, to be used as He desires. The result: He uses me for Himself.
If I say I live for Christ, yet I’m not part of and I don’t do anything in connection with Him, then something is wrong. Could it be I’m not living for Christ, that I didn’t surrender, and I’m not a tool in His hand?
To be used by Christ is a glorious thing. And since it’s used in connection with HIM, it means that it’s HIS work, which brings sweet relief from the pressure to perform. It also means HE is the one who gets the glory — I was simply the means to His end. So as I serve others, as I sacrifice of myself to minster, to give, and to love, it’s only because I am a willing tool in my Master’s hand. The incredible thing is, I find my purpose in this, because I can only truly be satisfied and complete and do what I was made to do in this context. It is only when I am in His hand that my talents make any sense at all.
To live for Christ is to be USED FOR HIS BENEFIT.
How am I to benefit God? By being a willing tool in His hand. To bring Him glory. How absurd would it be for a tool to talk back to the sculptor, “Hey, you’re holding me wrong! Wait a second! I don’t like how you’re using me! I should be used differently! I don’t think you meant to do that… it would look so much better if you did it this way instead…” But far too often I find myself doing that exact thing. I’ve forgotten that I’m living for Christ, not the other way around. My only job is to submit, and thus, bring Him glory for His benefit. When I complete this task, I receive a great reward. But when I try to find the reward myself, I never can.
It’s only in surrender that I’m truly free.
To live is Christ, to die is gain.
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.