I have been wanting to write this blog for a while and have a few minutes and thought it was a good time. I have been in the ministry for a while now and was thinking about how many times have we been asked the questions about living this life with Christ. So, as I was getting ready for youth group the other day it hit me that I have never really heard someone talk about what life looks like with Christ. I mean we tell people that life is better and that there is hope and purpose but is that really what they want to know? I felt that God was leading me on a lesson on how this life looks when we are living it with Jesus. Now, understand that this is not an exhaustive study on this subject but it is my prayer that it will get you started on a pursuit to see if your life is one in which people see Jesus. I am going to post this in several parts over the next week. So be looking for more to come after this.
Let’s get a few things out of the way before we jump on into this.
#1 What is our purpose in life? I know that we have had people say that our purpose is to worship God and I think that is partly true but when Jesus was asked about what are the greatest commandments, He gave us two that deal with relationships. I am convinced that our purpose is to have a deep intimate relationship with God through Christ and deep intimate relationships with others based on the life of Christ.
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:37-40 HCSB)
We cannot truly worship God if we do not have a relationship with him.
The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.
(Genesis 2:15 HCSB)
The phrase, “to work” (abad (aw-bad’ )) can be translated, to work, to serve, labor and even to be a worshiper. Adam was told to work the garden and that was him being a worshiper. So, when we are fulfilling our purpose then we are worshiping God. The Bible teaches us that life is all about relationships and that our purpose is to develop these relationships, I believe into intimate relationships.
#2 Our biggest problem with living a life with Jesus is we have lost or have a perverted our identity. We feel that who we are is based on what we do or who our family is or, even worse, we place our identity in other people, like our significant others, spouses, kids or parents. This is not how God wants us to think of ourselves. I believe this is one reason that we have so much depression and low self-esteem in our culture.
For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
(Galatians 2:19-21 HCSB)
See, Paul is teaching that it is not what we do, not what we have done, it is not who is in our family or who we belong to here on earth. It is not where we work or what we have that gives us life or our identity. It is in Jesus Christ alone that we find our identity. This is important to understand because where we find our identity is where we will put our time and effort. This also determines what we view as our purpose. If our identity is our job, then that becomes the over riding factor on where we will spend our time, our money and our energy and other resources. When this purpose and identity does not satisfy us, then we get depressed and we begin to think of ourselves as worthless. We are not worthless! Jesus knew that we were worth His very own life!
Now if we know our purpose is a relationship with God and we know that our identity is only found in Jesus, then I believe this should motivate us to develop a deep relationship with Christ (because this brings us to God – Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life” ) and it is through Christ that we can have grace towards others which then enables us to have intimate relationships with others.
#3 We need to live like Christ.
Just one thing: live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith of the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is evidence of their destruction, but of your deliverance–and this is from God. For it has been given to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear about me.
(Philippians 1:27-30 HCSB)
We see here that Paul is telling us that we need to live like Christ in the good and the negative because God is in control of all things. We also see here that people are watching us and our testimony is seen in our actions. I wonder if we took the time to compare our lives with these verses if we would see that we have the correct purpose, the correct identity and are truly living like Christ?
OK, I will post again on Tuesday Part 2 of what life with Jesus looks like. We will take some time in many verses and I pray that you just don’t read my words but that you study each of these as we gaze at just a top layer of what this life looks like.
In His Grip,
Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. I know many of us will be in different churches but we will be worshiping Jesus and that is all that matters.