What Are You Pursuing?Bro. David Chancellor
2/5/2006 6:00 PM
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
The cross drew a line in Paul’s life. It changed his direction. The cross should cause us to no longer follow the course of the world. We live in a good place. Many people point to the “American Dream.” It’s good to live in a place where we have the opportunity to work and better ourselves. Even as good as all this is, however, it shouldn’t be the goal of our lives. Are you pursuing the American Dream, or the life of Christ?
Tonight, many are pursuing the Superbowl. Thank the Lord, we’re not. People are out pursuing the American dream, but we’re pursuing the life of Christ. We’re not interested in anything where Christ can’t be found. The life of Christ gives us purpose, hope, and an expectation that our life will get better.
The world’s view of advancement is “more for me.” Jesus wasn’t pursuing things for himself. The glory Jesus had can rest on his people today.
2 Corinthians 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Mankind is pursuing happiness by trying to rise to the top. Jesus had everything, but he set it all aside for us. Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world, and Jesus turned it down. Many men have desired to have all the kingdoms. We don’t want the ambition to be the head of everything. Advancement in the workplace is fine, but it isn’t our focus or dream. Career isn’t the most important thing in life. God can use people with means and people without means, so long as they are committed to serving him. The life of Christ is about getting done what God needs done down here.
Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake. Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
The disciples did leave some things behind. They were “independent businessmen,” but they left it behind. Jesus told them not to worry about what was left behind. Our focus needs to be in the right place. This world’s goods shouldn’t be our main focus. If you put aside the things of this life, you’ll have more happiness and joy. Put the things of this world in their place and follow God. Too often people get things in the wrong order and God ends up last. People are hooked on TV, but it destroys their families and causes difficulty in their relationships. Our lives aren’t focused on amusement and pleasure, but we do find amusement and pleasure in life.
Jesus found pleasure in doing the work of God. He was energized by the work that he did. We can be energized and find pleasure in the life of Christ, not only here, but in the next too. God wants us to come to the place where he would have us to be, and live, as he would have us to live. Many things in this world would drag us down. Some things we can miss out on to the good of our souls. Keep things in their place. Keep God first.
For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Paul wanted Christ to be magnified in him whether by his life or by his death. We aren’t facing a martyr’s death, but what about our lives? Our lives should work his purpose, just as Christ’s life was for God’s purpose. This is where the success of the gospel is. This is why the church is called the body of Christ. Look at your life and see if Christ is seen in it, as he should be. Jesus’ goal was to be a blessing to mankind. He gave himself for our benefit. He didn’t intend for us to seek power and social status. We should live with our focus on God’s purpose for us. True greatness is found in the humility and purpose of the life of Christ. What most people are dreaming of and seeking after won’t bring happiness. Live as Jesus lived: to make a difference in the lives of others. There is a needful space for us. God has work for us to do here before we get to the reward in heaven. Don’t let the devil cheat you out of the many blessings of God that you can have here and now. Focus on God and keep everything else in its proper place.