Tuesday, August 29, 2023

How Following Jesus Changes Our Lives

Tuesday, August 29, 2023 Some material taken from An Uncommon Why 

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:14-17


How Following Jesus Changes Our Lives

Becoming a Christ follower changes why I do everything. My why is purposed through the scope of His love. His love for me and in my life is my why. It is why I get up in the morning. It is why I take care of my family. It is why I sing. It is why I love. It is why I can have joy no matter what the circumstances of my life are. His love propels me forward in Him, in faith, and He carries me when I need Him to. It is why I can walk through hard things - because in His love, He has already overcome everything. 

Before we become Christians, we operate in the flesh. Our flesh wants us to only think of doing things the way we want to do them. In our flesh we make important decisions based on what we want or how we feel.  As Christians, when our why is born out of His love, our whole life changes - inside and out. Being His child changes why we do the things we do, think the way we think, who we live for, how we see and treat other people, and how we see ourselves as a new creation in Him. What we want and how we feel is replaced by the scope of His love. As we realize His amazing love for us, we know we can trust Him, and He knows what is the very best for us. Even in our sinful selfishness when we regress to wanting our own why again, we realize how wrong our own why is for us, and how right His love is. Again, it is His love that refocuses our why in the right direction. 

Becoming a Christ follower changes who I live for. All of the efforts in our lives – our time, our meditation, what we spend money on, determine who or what you live for. God gave them to you to steward faithfully, and manage, but not to own. He died so we do not live for ourselves but surrender ownership of our whole life to Him. Everything. He gets all the elements of our lives as believers. When we hand these elements over to Him and leave them in His hands, we can trust Him, and we can live freely for Him. We can be free from the bondage of fear, worry, shame.

We can be living for something other than Him and not even realize it. We may be living for our spouse, for our kids, grandkids, the approval of others, a certain number of likes on social media, or any number of things. It is important that we pay close attention to who or what we are really living for. When Jesus challenges the biggest love of your life, you must choose who will be the biggest love of your life. It is a continuous surrender of the elements of our lives. It is a continuous effort to release them to Him, trust Him and walk away. It is continuous surrender of our hearts and our own fleshly thoughts and desires.  

What is it for you that keeps you where you are or makes you move? What reveals what you value more? What are you meditating on or thinking about most of the time? What is your why?

Take some time to really examine your life and what your why is. Pray and hand over those areas of your life you don’t want to relinquish control of. Trust in Him and ask Him to help you see your why through the scope of His love.  

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