This past weekend while pondering shortfalls in my relationship with the heavenly Father I began to realize how many hours of each day I simply live my life WITH Him and fail to live FOR Him as He has called me to do. The gospels clearly illustrate the difference between “living for” and “living with” our heavenly Father as illustrated through the life of Jesus. Jesus taught His disciples how to live “for” the Father in both word and deed teaching us to be active servants humbly fulfilling the will of the Father every day while here on earth. It is important to remember, “Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:6). Therefore, we must seek to follow His example when it comes to how we should live out our lives until the time we are called home into His rest.
Each day here in this world we experience countless occasions where we simply live “with” and around others. At home, school, work, etc. we learn to live with others (some learn this better than others do). However, when it comes to our relationship with our heavenly Father, we are called to serve His purpose setting our own personal earthly purpose aside. Merriam-Webster’s defines a servant as one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer. A servant does not simply hang out with their master, as this would be disrespectful. Yet, many who claim to know Christ do just that! They choose to live around the Father with little or no regard to the true humility they should have toward our Creator. They like to believe that they live their lives for the Father, but they are deceived by their own self-purpose. Consequently, true Christians need to become humble servants of our heavenly Father fulfilling His purpose with our lives. That is what it means to be Christ-like! Jesus did not teach this just for us to “know,” He taught it for us to “do.” We only have so many hours each day to serve and there is much to do. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38).
This is not to say we do not live “with” our Lord, we do! Moreover, we should seek to live “with” one another in the love of Christ as together we serve the will of the Father. “For God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore, encourage and build one another up, just as you are already doing. But we ask you, brothers, to acknowledge those who work diligently among you, who preside over you in the Lord and give you instruction. In love, hold them in highest regard because of their work. Live in peace with one another. And we urge you, brothers, to admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone. Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-19).
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