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Living Effectively for Christ 1: For Me to Live Is Christ

Living Effectively for Christ Day 1 – For Me to Live Is Christ

“I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV)

It is difficult to fully describe the thoughts and feelings that swelled as I heard my son read these words and share his response to them in the “Bible nugget of the day” for a group of fellow staff trainees who would be serving at camp for the summer.

For my son, that summer would entail weeks of hard work in the camp kitchen, early mornings that defy his natural body rhythms, long days logging an average of 10 miles on his feet, prepping, serving, cleaning, stacking, scrubbing, and more cleaning. But none of those pressing demands entered his “nugget” comments. He conveyed only one question on his heart, “Will campers see Christ living in me?”

Throughout the New Testament, we read about Paul’s devotion to Christ. He was not content to rest in the eternal security he received through the saving work of Christ. He was deeply compelled to trade bondage to sin and its penalties for unwavering allegiance to the Lord as His bondservant. Paul pleads with us to rightly acknowledge and rightly respond to all the Lord Jesus has done for us by willingly offering ourselves, our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies back to Him.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy [in NLT, “because of all He has done for you”], to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1, BSB)

“For to me, living means living for Christ.” (Philippians 1:21, NLT)

“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.” (Romans 11:36, NIV)

We heartily agree without hesitation. Our own hearts have been touched and our souls won to the Savior. We long to honor Him in return with every fiber of our being. This is our goal—to live for Christ!  

But what exactly does that mean? In what ways can our lives truly honor and serve the Lord? How can it be clear to others that Christ lives in us? When they see us, interact with us, and watch us from a distance, do they see Jesus?

Maybe this is exactly where we need to begin—if we want others to see Jesus in us, what can we learn from Him as our perfect example? How did the Lord Jesus live His own days on this earth?

“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God.” (Hebrews 1:3, NLT)

“If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well.” (John 14:7, NIV)

“For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory.” (Romans 11:36, NLT)

The Lord Jesus radiated the Father’s glory. He reflected the true heart and character of God.  He longed for others to know the Father simply by getting to know Him first. Even as God Himself, the Lord Jesus always pointed glory back to the Father.

“To give Him glory” can be a rather abstract concept for us. But a simple online search might shed some light:

to glorify: to praise and worship God, to describe or represent as admirable, to honor or magnify, to make glorious, to cause to appear in the purest, fullest form

A number of years ago, I heard a passing comment on the radio from someone who always struggled with the concept of life’s challenges bringing glory to God. In time, this man felt the Lord helped him to understand it this way: to glorify God is to “make Him known.”  

How we respond to the gamut of joys and trials we encounter can be used by the Lord to make Himself known—to us in a deeper way AND to others who are watching. The reality of God displayed in our lives can draw others to know and trust Him too. As each heart comes to know Him personally, they too will be compelled to give Him the honor and glory He deserves.

One of the most powerful ways we can make Him known is to accurately reflect the true heart and character of the Father, “to cause Him to appear in the purest, fullest form,” just like Jesus did. Over the next few weeks, posts on Vine to Branches will focus on practical ways we can commit to, foster, and demonstrate these Godly character traits. We can be sure that His own Spirit will guide our learning and orchestrate opportunities for us to extend the Lord’s true heart to others.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12, NLT)

As we consider various aspects of the heart of God through this series, may we continue to ask ourselves what it truly means to live for Christ. Even at the starting point, our desire to be like Jesus honors His example. As we journey through, may these glimpses of His heart also deepen our understanding, strengthen our confidence, and align our priorities with Jesus’ singular, unwavering devotion to the Father.  

May we long to know Him and make Him known! May others see Christ living in us!

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