Summary: Message about how loving Jesus is shown on how we live for Him.
How to Love Christ by Living for Him
November 26, 2005
If I were to take a poll of everyone in here, I wonder how many would say that they think everyone in the room should agree with them about a particular topic.
Whether it’s about politics, war, TV shows, or whatever.
We generally all have strong opinions about stuff, and we wonder how in the world anyone could not agree with us, especially in the face of the passion and dazzling logic we bring to the discussion.
And if we’re not careful, we can focus more on winning the argument instead of winning the person.
Well, I’m as guilty of that as anybody here in this room.
I look at some issues that I think are as clear as crystal in Scripture and just sit back in wonder why other people don’t get it.
And I find myself focusing on winning the argument instead of the person.
This issue of loving Jesus by living for Jesus is one of those areas.
I’m very passionate about helping people not only find Christ for forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven, but also helping them see that there’s so much more that Jesus expects of us than just getting our eternal fire insurance.
So I’m going to talk about that today, and I hope you hear the passion in my heart as I speak with my mouth.
But I want to also assure that my purpose today isn’t to win the argument. My purpose is to give you something to chew on so you can come to the point where you desire to be all that Christ wants you to be.
Why is this so important to me?
Because I know that the vast majority of Christians are missing out on the joy that comes with living for Jesus instead of ourselves.
And it has nothing to do with economic or social status. It has nothing to do with your education level or your career.
It’s available to every single person who decides to take Jesus up on His offer of a full and abundant life that He makes to those who follow Him with their lives and not just their lips.
I think that many of us in this room have wondered, “Is this really all there is to this ‘Christianity’ thing?
I go to church and I pray, and even read my Bible from time to time. But I don’t seem to have any real meaning and significance in my life. My life is just like the people in the office and down the street, and they don’t even claim to be Christians.
“So what’s the big deal?”
Or maybe you’re feeling what I mentioned before as a “holy discontent” with the status quo of your spiritual life, and you want more.
You’re sure there’s more, but you’re not sure what it takes to experience all of God that He wants us to experience.
For some of you, it might a “take it or leave it” type of thing. Maybe you will take a serious look at living for Jesus or maybe you won’t.
And the other option is that you couldn’t care less about what it means to live for Jesus, and quite honestly, any thought about giving more of yourself to Jesus puts you on the defensive.
My hope is that no one in here fits that category. And since I’m a generally positive kinda guy, I’m just going to figure that everyone in hear is at least ambivalent about living for Jesus!
How’s THAT for optimism?
Later in the message I’m going to give you some ideas on just how a person can go about taking some concrete steps to becoming a person who loves Jesus by living for Him.
Because remember, that’s what Jesus wants. Jesus isn’t interested in “lip-service” Christians. He says that to love Him it to live for Him, 24/7.
But right now I want to just lay down the foundation of what I’m talking about, and it’s found in the Scripture passage in your note-taking guide, Galatians 2:20.
I would like you to read this aloud with me, please.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
There are three things from this verse that I want to mention very quickly before we get into the abc-123 stuff, okay?
First, notice the first sentence - I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.
Paul is saying that he has died to himself. Last week we looked at Luke 9:23 and Jesus’ words that if anyone wants to claim to be a follower of Jesus, they need to deny themselves daily and pick up their cross and follow Him.