7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and came to life for this:that He might rule over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God. 11 For it is written:
As I live, says the Lord,
every knee will bow to Me,
and every tongue will give praise to God.
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Christ in Your Home
Why did Christ die? To rule over not only us, but over all people. Our job is to reach out to others in whatever way God equipped us individually so they would become active disciples of Christ. I can’t reach someone in the same way you can. We have different talents, gifts and skills, not to mention different specific callings and roles to play in His plan.
But are we playing the role for which God saved us? Did we say we would accept this assignment as servant of the Lord who died for us, only to go back to working for and serving ourselves?
Are we part time Christians who live most of their lives for themselves? People taking care of children or parents who depend upon them to live know what it is to have every decision based on the needs of someone else. People who have a job or hobby that consumes them know what it is like to make every decision according to how the object of their passion will be affected. God calls us to an entire life lived for Christ, not just sections of our life, where part is reserved for us or others, and part is reserved for God.
Christ is life, the rest is details.
What does God expect of us? Everything. Unashamedly He asks for dominion over every part of your life, and not in secret either. He expects us to live out our faith boldly in front of a world that is going to hell. He expects us to put Him first, before our families, our jobs, our dreams and desires, and especially before ourselves.
What motivation do we have to place Him first when we know we are already going to heaven because of our faith in Jesus? Wasn’t that the goal? Anything more is just gravy to us, right?
I would hope we would want to serve Him out of gratitude for all He has done for us, or out of love for Him. But we get so busy with our own agenda that honestly we forget about Him.
But verse 12 says we will actually have to give an account to God for what we have done for ourselves instead of for God. There will still be a reckoning for those in Christ. It will be like the parables about God stewardship – we were forgiven all of our debts, given valuable gifts as well as power and authority because of our faith in Jesus and becoming adopted into God’s family. But what did we do with the new found freedom from our past, the blessings He has given us, the power that comes from the Holy Spirit that now lives in us, and the authority that comes from Jesus making us His disciples?
Have we, out of fear of inadequacy, our maybe just laziness, hidden what He has given us, instead of using it to grow God’s kingdom? Have we forgotten how much Jesus forgave us for, how great was our sin and how great was the cost, so that we hold other’s sins against them even though Jesus forgave us our trespasses? Do we love so little because we forget how much we have been forgiven?
We don’t serve Him out of fear of angering Him, but fear of disappointing Him.
Have you ever known someone that you didn’t want to disappoint? You did your absolute best to win their approval, because facing their disappointment in you was unbearable. The moment when you face God to tell Him why you spent so much time serving yourself instead of Him will hurt because you will see how much you hurt Him, not that you angered Him.
My biggest fear is that God will convict you of areas in your life that need to be completely given over to Him, but that conviction will be overshadowed by the condemnation that the accuser of the brethren, Satan, will throw on you. Conviction will tell you clearly what must change in your life without speaking negatively about you personally. Condemnation will tell you what a bad person you are and that you should just give up because nothing you ever do will be good enough for God. That is the lie of the enemy.
Jesus died to make you good enough. He placed His Holy Spirit inside of you to empower you to live for Him. He didn’t do these things to hold them over your heads. He did them to equip you to carry out His specific calling in your life so that others would be saved and brought into intimate relationship with Him. But He still will hold you accountable for what He has done for and given you. You need to make the decision today to give Him ALL of your life, not just part of it.
14 for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said:
Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead,
and the Messiah will shine on you.
Consistency in the Christian Life
15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
We have been given the directive to make disciples, but we figure someone else will take care of that. It is as if we have been made ambassadors to a foreign country and represent our King there, only once we were given everything we needed to do the job, we decided to just lay around on the beach, play golf, eat out with new friends, and ignore our directive. We were lulled to sleep by the hot sun, tropical breezes, fruity drinks and good company and forgot who we represent and the responsibility that we have been assigned.
God is saying, “Wake up! You are not on vacation here on earth. You are on duty in His service, you are on a search and rescue mission to seek those who are dying, trapped under the rubble of their broken lives or the trappings of success they have worked so hard for. If you don’t go after them, they will die! Wake up and re-commit yourself to Him and His service. Make Him proud, and have nothing to fear when you finally do gave Him. Let Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. “