FOR ME OR FOR CHRIST?
There's a question I find myself asking often these days. The children hear me ask it out loud, but I find I must query my own heart as often as theirs.
“Who are you living for right now?”
It's one of those stop you dead in your tracks type of questions, isn't it? It delves right to the core of it all because, truly, we always find we that we are either living for either ourselves or for Christ~ but never for both.
LEARNING TO LOSE MY LIFE
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” ~Matthew 10:39
It seems that the losing of ones life- in our day- is not really a once for all choice, but a series of seemingly small choices that add up to a whole of ones life. It comes in the form of preferring others; choosing not to gossip. Not caring who gets the credit for a job. Of praying secretly to God about the things that weigh upon the heart. It means overlooking offenses; keeping no record of wrongs.
"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. ~Matthew 10:40
I think it is tempting to believe at times, as unbelievers do, that our works can put a little towards our “being saved” account. But of course, that is not what this verse is saying. We know by looking at the whole of Scripture that our works only prove out what we really believe. They are the fruit of living faith~ and God sees just what kind of fruit we are bearing because He sees the heart.
WHO AM I FOOLING?
If we live for ourselves, we still might fool the whole world. It's possible. We could look like the sweetest Christian in the church, doing all the right things, but without an ounce of saving faith. Because deep down, we could be doing all the right things to be seen by men, rather than by God.
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 6:1
Tonight as I was putting the girls to bed we were talking about this idea and how it can be tempting to hope someone will find out when we do something nice. And it's not bad in itself if someone does find out if we do something nice. The problem comes when we do our 'acts of righteousness' to be seen by men and we “announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” ~Matthew 6:2
And in the end, only God knows the difference. Whether we mean to be seen and honored by men or whether we are truly losing our lives for Him.
JOY COMES FROM DYING
I have been tempted this week. And in some points I have failed miserably! But I am encouraged that as I was tried (and tried I was) I found that I desired~ in the end~ to die to me and to live for Christ. And truly that is the point of trial, isn't it? We face the continuing tests to warn or confirm our hearts while it is still today. In the end, I find myself marveling at how odd it is that joy comes from... dying.
As you look to your own heart and the hearts of your children today, can I encourage you with a thought? At the point of trial and frustration, will you ask yourself~ who am I living for?
Will you let that mirror expose the truth? It seems in our home, just that reminder causes offenses to melt away. Pride and covetousness seem to slink back to their dark and gloomy homes for a time. And, as we seek to live for Him, the sun reappears.
Praying you will find yourself losing your life a moment at a time as you lead those little hearts home.
Photo: Tom and his three legged race partner getting ready for the big event at the annual church picnic. I think they came in last place, but Lydia never knew it. ; )