Daily Devotional–Tuesday,August 10, 2021
“Jesus died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15, NLT)
The more I study the life of the Apostle Paul the more I come to appreciate what a life totally sold out for God looks like…and to be honest, it’s a little intimidating! But the reality is that Paul wasn’t some sort of super-disciple; the faith he had is the same faith we can each have; the level of commitment to the work God had called him to is also the level of commitment God requires from us; the level of loyalty Paul showed Christ is the level of loyalty we should all strive to embrace. Just like us, Paul wasn’t perfect, he still had struggles; but he never wavered from the reality that his life was no longer his own. No matter what Paul faced, his aim was to live for Christ.
What helped Paul remain so faithful, so committed, so loyal? He had seen the dark side of what his life had been without Christ, how in his zeal he had actually worked in opposition to God, yet God in His graciousness had lead Paul into the truth—had given him a new life. And he never forgot. He remembered his indebtedness to Jesus—and he was fully convinced, therefore, that he owed his remaining days to his Saviour. How might our lives look—our daily lived out faith—if we too retained the knowledge of the depravity from which we have been rescued. Too many believers today, rather than being grateful, live as though we are somehow entitled. We have forgotten or downplayed the graciousness of God and what our own rescue cost Him. Our lives, whether we acknowledge the fact or not, are owed to Jesus still.
So, what does that look like, to no longer live for ourselves but for Christ? Paul continues…
“We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10).
Living for Christ is not for the faint of heart. It is much easier to live for ourselves; but when we do, if we claim to be a follower of Christ, it shows us up for frauds. Is our belief in Jesus genuine? Can we recall from what God has saved us? Are we truly grateful? Then we owe Jesus nothing less than our lives. Paul’s example is one we must all be willing to follow.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!