A Call to Live
In our Christianized, western world today I find many people asking the question: Am I willing to die for my faith? The American church has the privilege of spiritual freedom, but this freedom does come with a few strings attached. Something that has recently been brought to my attention is the importance that Christians place on dying for Jesus Christ. Let me be the first to admit that it is important to be willing to die for God…but it is also equally important to be willing to live for God.
The book of Romans very vividly talks about offering up our bodies as living sacrifices to God, this being our spiritual act of worship. There are so many amazing stories of Christians who have lived truly inspiring lives for God and died still serving Him. This brings me to the question of what does it truly mean to die for Jesus?
Well to get to death we must start with what precedes death, and at least in every case I have seen, what precedes death is life! But to stay on the subject, if we truly want to be willing to die for Jesus we must first be willing to live for Him. No one can die for God without first living for Him, even if that life only consists of the final seconds before death.
But on a day to day occurrence, what does this look like?
In our scheduled reality, this means doing everything to the best of our ability for Jesus Christ and not for men. As cliche as this is, the truth is still present here.
Living for someone entails doing certain tasks for that person, honoring them, spending time with them, etc. The same goes for living a life for Jesus. We must do our daily tasks as if we are doing them for Him. Driving to our work place, putting the kids to bed, buying groceries, speaking at an event…all should be done unto Him.
We honor Him by sharing the everlasting joy He has bought for us and inviting others to share in an eternity worshiping Jesus. We spend time with Him by reading the letters He has kept for us over the centuries, and having two-way conversations with Him. These prayers should not only consist of praying at Him but also listening for His voice to us.
In the end, living for God has to be a daily, hourly, more often minutely, decision. In our culture I find it is far easier to converse over coffee about our desire to be willing to die for God, than to pray alone in a crowded room that we would have the strength to live for Him that day.
Of course we should be willing to die for Jesus Christ. We are to love as He loved and His love included the giving up of His life. However, at this moment He is not calling us to die for Him. He is calling us to go out and live for Him. To honor Him with the quality of our lives, experience the joy of His salvation, and engage others, inviting them to do the same.
Today I choose to live for my God, Jesus Christ. And until old age tries to claim me, or an “accident” crashes down upon me, I will continue to choose to live for God. And in the end, with the grace God gives, I will die living for God.
You see, being willing to die for God must come after a willingness to live for Him. Today God has not called us to lay down on our cross, but rather, to pick up our cross daily and to follow Him. The call is the same for us all. The question then must be asked: Who will follow?