For Jesus’ Sake
Posted on October 21, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistorical acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” ~ George Eliot
Probably the biggest objection to Christianity is how a loving God can allow so much pain and suffering; yet Paul tells us that it is through our pain and suffering that we come to know the transcended power of God. I have stood by bedsides and held hands with the dying, I have had the wave of death wash over me in several heart attacks, and I have waited outside operating doors only to hear words of dismay… I have been falsely accused of wrongdoing and been the scapegoat of others misdeeds and I have been the victim of my own poor choices. As painful and lonely as all of this has been, I cannot deny that it is in each of these circumstances that my eyes were opened to the manifest Light of the Glory of God. Paul writes, “Yes, we live under constant danger of death (of our will, desires, appetites, self-reliance, and want for recognition) because we serve Jesus (for Jesus sake), so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies” (2 Cor 4:11). When we recognize Jesus as Lord of our lives, we are daily putting to death our self-reliance and resting upon the willingness of God to be at work in us; without any flash or public demonstrations, we allow Him to change our character in loving and quiet ways until we resemble Jesus in the midst of His rejection, lack of recognition, and crucifixion. Paul describes this desire in his own life when he writes, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11)! Here is where we struggle… we want the power of God, but we want to get the credit for having achieved it as well. We want the kingdom of God, but we want ‘our own rights’ as well… the ones we define as being important. But in reality, we must first die to these things before we can be raised in His resurrection power.
All those who have made an eternal impact for God in this life, have done it from obscurity… from a jail cell, in a fiery furnace, lowered into a lion’s den, wandering the wilderness, while in sickness or poverty, in foxholes and gutters, in rehab and recovery rooms, in small congregations or more likely alone, and on a Cross…
You want to know ‘the life of Jesus’? Do you want true meaning and purpose? Then look to the Cross where Jesus died and leave your self-reliance and ideas of ‘Good’ there, and live your life by faith that God is at work, no matter the circumstance, resolved to do so ‘for Jesus sake’, that the light of His glory will shine through the brokenness and cracks of your earthen vessel.
Praying you choose Christ today
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in this body (earthen vessel), I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.” – A.W. Tozer
The Daily Bible Reading: Reflection | You can download our 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. –Ephesians 5:1-2