A Reason to Live (2)
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Jesus had none of the things which the world considers important, and yet He lived the most meaningful life ever lived. Why is this true? How did He accomplish this feat? If we can learn the answer to these questions, if we learn what He had, and live as He lived, we can find happiness and a reason to live. Last week we saw that Jesus had something to live for—His mission or purpose.
Second, Jesus had something to live by. He had a guide—His Father’s will. A life that is only directed by whims and circumstances is an irregular life at best. There was never any doubt in the path that Jesus would pursue. At age 12, He already knew: “wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” (Luke 2:49). He explained this to His disciples: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34).
Third, Jesus had something to believe in; His faith was in His Father. All have faith in something but a faith that is built on something no higher than one’s own self can never lift one above his present standing. It not only is impossible to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, but we only succeed in losing our footing when we attempt to do so. “Faith is a cable and must be anchored in something stronger than itself” (Jack Exum). One who does not have proper faith is of all men most miserable (John 8:24; Heb. 11:1, 6). Let me hasten to add that the faith that avails, the faith that saves, is an active obedient faith (James 2:17, 26).
Christ’s faith was anchored in His Father. Read and study carefully His prayer to the Father in John 17. Notice His complete trust in His Father: “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?“ (Matt. 26:53).
Fourth, Jesus had something to share; He had an offering—Himself. Nothing is more damaging to the Christian life than selfishness. One whose intent and desires to do not extend beyond himself will soon find himself uninteresting, unproductive, and unhappy. The life Jesus lived is a perfect example of unselfishness and sacrifice. His life was spent serving. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). The shortest, and yet accurate, biography of Jesus’ life is given by Peter at the house of Cornelius; he simply said, that He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). His death also involved serving others (Rom. 4:25; John 2:2; Isa. 53:3-12; Heb. 2:9). In His resurrection, He still is sharing: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3).
What made Christ’s life meaningful? It was because He had a reason to live. That reason involves: something to live for, something to live by, something to believe in, and something to share. Let’s try to pattern our lives after His, and, we too, will have a reason to live.
Paul M. Wilmoth