Are You Living For Jesus?


It's amazing to me how different cultures produce different perspectives on what it is to serve Jesus. My first trip to India changed my life. That's because it changed my perspective on what it means to serve Jesus.


In our country, to most folks living for Jesus is attending 1 or 2 meetings per week. You have a life-style that may or may not include living for Jesus - between the meetings. Everything you supposedly do for Jesus is contingent on what happens in the meeting you attend. If nothing happens to you, you leave just the way you arrived. You head back out into a world in which you do the very same things over once again for another week. How long could this go on? Sadly for the majority of American Christians...for the rest of their lives! On the other hand, If God shows up at the meeting, and you're thirsty for a drink from His River of Life (Holy Spirit), it may change your life! But even then, when you leave the meeting, you enter an American culture that is not conducive to living for Jesus full-time. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not speaking of the spirit of the world, I'm talking about a culture through which we must spread the gospel, the Word, and the love of Jesus Christ. Jesus found ways to permeate and penetrate the culture by living for the Father...every single place He went. The customs of His day vehemently opposed living for God. But His priority was His Father's will, and as a result God's power was extremely upon Him.


Consider this. What would you do if God clearly spoke to you to sell everything you have and serve Him in a deeper, fuller capacity? I can't speak for you. However I know from living in this culture the following responses would not be uncommon: "I wouldn't have the faith." "I'm too busy now." "I don't have the money." (You would if you sold everything.) "I have a family to support." "I am too old for this." "I'm too young for this." "It would be irresponsible." "It would be too difficult to trust Him." "I don't have the education." "Maybe later." Now consider this. If God spoke to you to undertake a mighty exploit for Him (that would fail if God were not in it), and you automatically defaulted to one of the above answers, who would you be putting first in your life? It certainly wouldn't be God. It might just be the culture you are serving! The disciples/apostles changed their culture and the world, how? By forsaking ALL for the cause of Jesus. In my humble opinion Jesus is worth it!


Let me speak a bit of my friends in India. They pray fervently daily. They rise before the chickens to begin this process. They gather numerous times during the week to pray, seek God, and encourage one another. They mobilize to share and spread the good news of Jesus regularly. Their mission in life (whether pastors or laymen) is to serve Him at all times, and at all costs to advance the gospel. The first time I hung out with them for a couple of weeks...I felt like a back-slider. But it stirred me to do something about it. And as I said...it changed my life.


India is the land of 330 million Gods. Darkness exists in ways one cannot imagine without experiencing it first-hand. Many of the Pastors I know left their jobs for the cause of serving Jesus. Is that irresponsible? I think not. It is simple obedience and trust in the One who calls. Quite honestly, when the culture prevents us from living for God, it is disobedience. My friends in India remind me much of those early Christians in the New Testament. Listen to the words of Paul the Apostle, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ." (Philippians 3:7)


And finally, we wonder why the power of God is stronger in other lands than in our own. It is because where folks have less, the need for God is greater.  It's that simple. In other cultures the people need God more than we do here in America. How do we overcome this in America? We must return to one simple truth...serving Jesus is above all. The cause of Christ is above all. Paul went on to say these words, "...More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ," How do you feel about this? Are you ready to forsake ALL for Him, and for whatever He commissions you to do? Just wondering.
                                                                                                                     
Steve is  available to teach/preach God's Word in churches, conferences, workshops, special meetings and groups. Some of the subjects include prayer, praise and worship, marriage, missions, etc., among others. If I can serve you please contact me at harvcel@gmail.com.

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