Christ, Our Life

Fluffy clouds in the sky with the sun peeking through

I am deeply concerned that some do not understand the dedication that it takes to be a faithful servant of Christ.  It is the Lord, Who said, “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).  Self-denial is an absolute necessity for the servant of Christ.  That means that selfish desires and wants cannot be allowed to rule our lives.  I must learn to submit to the will of God.  James wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).  My desire should be to please God and not man.  “For do I now persuade men, or God?  or do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). 

            A servant of Christ cannot be enamored with the physical things of this life.  John plainly stated, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).  It is Jesus Who taught, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on…Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?  or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)  for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:25-33).  I must accept that the world, and the physical things thereof, are just temporal.  Timothy was taught, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:6-7).  Also, Peter wrote, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Pet. 3:10-12)?  Therefore, the servant of Christ must care more for the things which are spiritual than the things which are physical.  I cannot be seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness while I am focusing on physical things of this world. 

            The servant of Christ must rightfully apply Paul’s instructions to the brethren in Colosse.  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:2-4).  As a Christian, my life is Jesus.  He is not supposed to be just a part of my life, but rather He is my reason, my motivation, and my purpose.  Truly, my entire life is supposed to be given to the Lord.  It is His because He is my life!  Whatever I can do in this physical body should be done to further the cause of Christ and bring glory to God.  By becoming a Christian, I must accept what Jesus said.  “Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).  Paul begged the church in Rome to “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).  Being a Christian is not just a part-time job.  Paul pleaded with the church in Ephesus that they “…walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1).  My “vocation”, or job, is serving Christ!  We cannot allow ourselves to be diverted.

            Sadly though, there are many children of God who are not as devoted as they should be.  For whatever reasons, they get “entangled” with the things of this world (2 Pet. 2:20-22).  By so doing, they are putting their souls in a terrible state.  Without repentance and correction, they will be lost on the Day of Judgment.  As Jesus said, “…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
~ Corey Barnette