Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m living for Jesus?” I know I have. That statement is in our worship songs, on t-shirts, bumper stickers, billboards and just about everywhere Christians make art. It is a simple thing to say but it is a truly powerful statement to live. “I’m living for Jesus.”
The word “for” is a preposition (sorry for the grammar lesson) and can mean:
- To the benefit of
- On behalf of
- In the service of
Let’s take a few grammatical liberties and reread “I’m living for Jesus” with these definitions.
- I’m living to the benefit of Jesus
- I’m living so that Jesus receives the praise
- I’m living so that Jesus and His kingdom receive the increase
- I’m not living for my own glory or reward, I’m living so that Jesus receives all of the glory
- I’m living on the behalf of Jesus
- I’m living as Jesus’ representative
- I’m living to benefit and support Jesus and His interests
- I’m living in the service of Jesus
- I’m living to be used by Jesus
- I’m living to perform work for Jesus
- I’m living to help Jesus with anything He needs
I believe that most Christians want to be able to echo these statements and for them to be true about their lives. As a believer in Christ, I always want to be able to honestly and sincerely say that I am living for Jesus. There are many things in this world and in our lives that aggressively compete for first place in our hearts; some of them are good things and others are from the opposite end of the spectrum.
I am writing this message to provoke us to either keep Jesus the center of our lives or to repent and make Him the center of our lives. Nothing is more important than Him. If there is anything in our lives that is competing with Jesus for first place we need to place it on the altar and once again crown Jesus Lord of our lives. Old time preachers would say, “Jesus is either Lord of all or He isn’t Lord at all.”
Please keep in mind that we are constantly growing in Christ (or should be) and that none of us have been made perfect on this earth. As we live by faith let us be like King David, a person after God’s heart (Acts 13:22) and the Apostle Paul, who was constantly pursuing the Lord (Philippians 3:7-14).
Jesus has to be the center of all that we do. He cannot be a side dish that we add to the main course we have prepared for our life. It is so easy for us to get caught up in our stuff that we can shift our focus from living for Jesus to living for ourselves and asking Jesus to help us accomplish our dreams and goals.
We can end up building our kingdom at the expense of His kingdom. We can end up with ourselves at the center of our lives instead of Jesus. Jesus had this to say:
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:24-31 NLT)
We can pursue an education with Jesus at the center of our lives. We can be excellent employees and business people with Jesus at the center of our lives. We can be devoted parents with Jesus at the center of our lives. We can be teachers, factory workers, sales people, farmers, pastors, CEO’s or even government employees with Jesus at the center of our lives.
What is our motivation? What is the attitude of our heart? What is our goal? What are we trying to build?
Are we accurately representing Jesus in our lives? Do our lives speak the same message that our mouths do? Are we living for Jesus?
Let’s keep our heart on the altar. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize. Let’s keep Jesus at the center of everything that we do. Let’s truly live for Jesus each and every day of our lives.
“When Christ is the center of your focus, all else will come into proper perspective.” (Croft M. Pentz)