Your Life Is Not About You; It’s About Jesus
This post is adapted from a talk I gave to a youth group at a local church.
Your life is not about you. It’s about Jesus.
It’s easy to think that this is true about missionaries in far off lands. But no matter you live, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you’re life must be completely surrendered to Him. Always, and in all ways.
We Are All Missionaries
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
And the truth is, we are all called to be missionaries. Jesus commissioned His followers (and the same call applies to us) to tell others about Him. We are not called to win anyone to Christ, but to follow Him in obedience and tell others about Him. And the latter (telling) is only made credible by the former (how we are living).
All Christians are missionaries and ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). In our homes, schools, cities, countries, and all over, we represent Jesus with our words and with our actions.
But as you go to share His good news, focus on where you have been, where you are now, and where you will be.
Where Are You Coming From?
God uses all our past to help us connect with people in our lives today. Everything that we’ve experienced — the highs and the lows — are a part of how He has blessed and shaped us, and a part of how we can bless others.
For me, my background includes:
- Being an atheist / agnostic for 19 years
- Living in New Jersey and South Carolina
- Playing football for 10 years (in addition to playing other sports)
- Having success in academics
- Working as a chemist for almost 10 years
- And more . . .
Think about what can be on your list:
- Where you grew up
- Your family’s socioeconomic class
- Art or music or being in plays
- Love of nature (camping, hiking, etc)
- etc . . .
The totality of your experience does not define you, but it gives a platform for you to connect with others and share God’s truth, the gospel of Jesus.
Where Are You Now?
As I mentioned, being a missionary and ambassador for Jesus is not about being someplace far off. It’s about being intentional wherever you are.
We have taken a powerful story like the Good Samaritan, and plucked out Jesus’ wise answer to “Who is my neighbor?” and we apply it to distant peoples, or even those “less fortunate” who we meet at the soup kitchen every Thanksgiving.
But maybe, just maybe, when Jesus tells us to “Love your neighbor,” He meant for us to love our neighbor. You know, the family with the new baby right next door, or whats-his-name across the street who cuts his grass during your kids’ nap time, or the elderly couple a few doors down that give out handfuls of the good candy during Halloween each year. Or maybe it’s the guy that you work with but don’t really know, or the student who sits next to you in school.
Why is it easier to show love (i.e., give money or a little bit of our time) to people who are far off, than it is to those who are right next to us?
Yes, it can be awkward and time-consuming to develop these relationships, but remember: Your life is not about you; it’s about Jesus.
Where Are You Going?
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3
This world is not our permanent home. We can make ourselves comfortable with our 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home in the suburbs, fully IKEA-ized, and a manicured lawn. But we fool ourselves when we think that after 30-years of interest-heavy payments to the bank, that we truly own that structure. The only residence that we can rightly and permanently claim is what Jesus has prepared for us.
This body is not our permanent body. One day, we will get a new body to replace this weak and broken one (I Corinthians 15:42-44). When I was young, and had an eight-pack of abs (You just had six? Tsk, tsk), and could bench 340 pounds and passed every football conditioning test, this passage didn’t mean all that much. But what a joy it ought to be to endure physical brokenness and weariness for the sake of spreading the gospel (Philippians 4:11-13).
This life is not ours. Just as Jesus came to serve and lay His life down (Mark 10:45), He calls us to that same life of loving self-sacrifice (John 15:13). In every decision, you must remember, “You are not your own; you were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Your life is not about you. It’s about Jesus.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7
- On a Mission
- Following Jesus vs Loving the World
- Be a Part of God’s Renewal in Your Neighborhood
- Everyday Evangelism (The Resurgence)
- What Does Discipleship Look Like on a Day-to-Day Basis? (Verge Network, by David Platt)