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How to live for God’s glory
Christianity is more than a set of beliefs. Christianity is a lifestyle. Christianity is about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as historical realities (1 Cor. 15:1–11), but Christianity is also so much more.
Jesus is more than a figure of history. Jesus is alive, and when we place our faith in him, our lives are forever changed (2 Cor. 5:17). We no longer live for ourselves, but for our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
4 lessons from Jesus
In living for Jesus, we model his life. He lived for the glory of God and the good of others. From Luke 4:42–5:11 we learn four important lessons from Jesus’ life and ministry in how we should go about living our life for God’s glory and the good of others.
1. Pour yourself out in ministry.
Nearly everything communicated today is done to encourage you to love, worship, and serve yourself. Church is every morning looking at the god in the mirror and making sure that the god you’re looking at gets everything it desires. If this is you, then your life is about you and you should be depressed because you’re wasting your life.
Many of you are stuck in this place and you desire to get out. The way out is to love God and serve others.
Pouring yourself out in ministry won’t just happen. You need to be purposeful in how you do it. Open up your schedule. Purposefully plan activities. Be aware of those in your life that you can serve.
2. Rest and recover in solitude.
Jesus, the Son of God, our risen Lord and Savior, modeled for us something very important. After pouring himself out in ministry, Jesus sought rest and recovery in solitude (Luke 4:42).
Pouring yourself out in ministry is like using all of your gas in the car. When the tank is empty, you need to fill it up. In the same way, when your tank is empty, you need to go and be with God to fill it. This is done through rest and recovery in solitude.
So ministry is, you pour yourself out, then the tank is empty, and you go to be with God to fill it. That is rest and recovery in solitude.
Solitude is fasting from people, crowds, busyness, noise, and activity from everything, including technology. Receiving the rest and recovery you need needs to be planned. Look at your schedule and plan it in advance. Treat it like an important meeting. Guard it. Schedule things around it.
Here’s the cycle of your life and ministry: empty your bucket, get it filled, and repeat the process.
3. Pursue your calling, not your potential.
Another important lesson we learn from Jesus is this: pursue your calling, not your potential.
After completing a time of rest and recovery, Jesus was approached by a throng of people with a massive to-do list. They had so much work in mind for him it would have kept him from leaving their town (Luke 4:42). Jesus denied their requests, not because their needs were bad or not important, but because they were not the things that Jesus was called to do by the Father (Luke 4:43).
Jesus was called to preach the good news of the kingdom of God in various towns. He’s not against healing, exorcisms, prayer, but against setting up shop in one particular location. Jesus pursued his calling to travel and preach.
If you don’t know what your calling is, you need to get with God and the Bible. Who do you identify with in the Bible? This will help indicate some of your skills. What are our passions? What are your interests? What are you good at? How has God worked through you before? Where do you see needs? These are just a few questions you can ask in discerning your call.
4. Train other leaders.
Jesus is pouring himself out in ministry. He’s finding rest and being recovered alone the way. He’s pursuing his call and continues to travel and preach the good news of the kingdom of God. His workload is growing, and his time is running short. To help with the workload and eventually carry on the mission, Jesus gathers and trains new leaders (Luke 5:1–11).
As you are following the same cycle that Jesus is modeling for us, you will need to identity and train other leaders. For instance, if you lead a small group, be aware of someone you can involve as an apprentice. You can equip them to lead a group themselves, which is a way of maximizing your effectiveness in ministry by multiplying.
If you are a church leader, be aware of those who can serve as elders, deacons, or other leadership roles. Identify them. Pursue them. And prepare them to share the ministry workload by training them in a sphere of ministry, such as student ministry or mercy ministry.
It’s all about evangelism.
We do this for the sake of reaching others for Jesus. Jesus told Peter, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men” (Luke 5:10). For Peter, as well as all of the other disciples called by Jesus, their call was all about evangelism. It was about people meeting Jesus and it should be the same for us.
The people in your life (your circle of influence) are no accident. There are many people you can share Jesus with that no one else can. Do not be afraid. Jesus has called you to catch them for him.