What are you living for?


girlsYesterday when reading my morning devotions I came across a familiar stanza of a poem by C. T. Studd that reads, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” I let my heart meditate on that statement for awhile and it really got me thinking. We often kill ourselves in vain pursuits, but the truth of the matter is, when it’s all said and done, (like the poem states) only things done for God’s kingdom will last.

How often in my daily life I get distracted from that truth because life can be so full of trivial pursuits. We work to make a living, we try to keep up with the kids, our house, our stuff, and even our neighbors. Life can keep us in the business of being busy. But the question I ask myself and you is this, “Are the things that we are pursing going to have a lasting impact for eternity?”

Now some may look at my life and think I’m a bit over the top kind of person. My philosophy is this, if you’re going to do something at all, then you might as well go all out, right? Isn’t that how we are when we’re passionate about something? If we say we love God first, shouldn’t we be constant in pursuing an ongoing relationship with Him? Shouldn’t our pursuit of knowing Him drive us to seek His face daily? God’s Word is the bread of life which fuels our body to the abundant life.

The opposite of following Christ, is not following Him. We can get stuck in the self motivated life where nothing is ever enough, therefore all of our vain pursuits leave us empty, unfulfilled and searching for the next best thing. That’s the difference between living for Christ and living for ourselves. I’ve been there and done that and I know how unfulfilling selfish living can be.

I am reminded of the scripture in Revelation, where Jesus is speaking to the church of Laodicea and it reads as follows:  ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.… (Rev.  3:15). Spitting is an act of being disgusted with something. What a poignant visual Jesus is giving us here in that illustration. I do NOT want to be lukewarm in my pursuit of Christ.

Following Christ takes work. In the book of Acts when Jesus is calling His disciples, He asks them to leave what they are doing and follow Him (meaning leaving their own pursuits to take up His mission). Their agenda has to be left behind to follow God’s agenda. This is where relationship with Christ differs from religion. Religion will allow you to follow Jesus on your terms. Relationship requires that we follow God on His terms by living in surrendered obedience to Him. This is where we experience the real Jesus of the bible. Our life then becomes a pursuit of knowing Him and all that he Has for us.

Following God is not obeying a set of laws or banging your bible in peoples face to prove that you’re right and their wrong, that’s religion. Following God is loving Him by loving others. It’s only through loving other’s that we are truly loving Him. Jesus doesn’t require us to go out and do big things for God, but following Him is rather daily walking with Him and obeying His Word. In doing so your life becomes a form of worship to Him by allowing Him to be the Lord of your life in your everyday circumstances. This is the kind of relationship God wants with us. A real, life-giving relationship where we are allowing God to work in us and for His purpose and kingdom work.

So my question to you is this, “What are you living for?” I hope it’s something worth dying for, because that’s exactly how Jesus feels about you!

I wanted to leave you with the entire poem written by T. D. Studds. I hope it speaks as powerfully to you as it did to me:

“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

And why do you worry about your clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that  you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:28-33

Whoever want to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

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. Colossians 3:2-4

 

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