Christianity is a lifestyle of letting go of your life so you may serve the life of others.
– Pastor J
“If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.” (Mark 8:35 NLT)
The teachings of Christ were committed to introducing to all humanity the essence of living life to its fullness. The purpose of Christ’s coming was so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus demonstrated that this can only be achieved by learning to give our lives for the lives of others. Jesus accomplished eternal life for all of us who believe by giving His life to death so as to conquer it once and for all, but we must learn to live beyond the pattern of death that seeks to steal, kill and destroy us. We can possess eternal life and yet still live in a pattern of death in this life. So Christ was committed to teaching us how to live life, so that life would no longer live us.
I remember as a teenager hearing the Spirit of the Lord say to me, “Before you can understand the mystery of life you must first understand the mystery of death.” As a young teenager I wasn’t sure the meaning of this, but I have been taught through the years the truth that exists in this statement. When the focus of life becomes our selves we become salves to the affairs, fears, needs, wants and pleasures of this life. The problem with the appetite of our lives is that it is never satisfied and so we strive in vain to satisfy something that cannot be satisfied. We were never created to consume, but rather to give. We were created to produce life and then called to give life. All humanity was created for life, but not all choose life. Life is something we first receive and then learn to give. But this has become a lost principle in the life of a Christian, and this is why the church has become a graveyard instead of a pasture. Our church buildings have become tombs of dead religion instead of barns of abundant resource.
If we do not learn to rediscover our purpose; which is to live by giving our life then we will never learn to live life. How do we lose our lives so to gain life? We meet the needs we are equipped to meet in others. We serve one another with the gifts and abilities we are given to use. We forgive the offenses of others. We are only a victim of offense when we choose to live in that offense. We share with others the hope we have in Christ Jesus. We commit to the success of others before we commit to our own success. We learn to love others to the same measure we love ourselves instead of loving ourselves more than others. These were the keys Jesus gave us to living an abundant life in Him. This is the commanded lifestyle the church was given to live, and without this lifestyle we are not living, but continue to die within ourselves.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NAS)
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
“This I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:17)
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:3-5)
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1Peter 4:10)