“He’s living for the Lord” is the type of phrase people say that irritates me.
Perhaps it’s best heard in “their kids are living for the Lord.”
Based on what I’ve observed, “living for the Lord” is followed up by a list of accomplishments to prove the claim.
Usually the list is something like this:
He goes to church.
She teaches Sunday School.
He’s a pastor.
She’s a missionary.
Their kids go to a Christian college.
In other words, “living for the Lord” means–I am doing lots of things for Jesus. He must be so happy to have me down here doing all this for Him.
In reality, it’s mostly about the person and their accomplishments, and very little about Jesus.
The classic example is the person who performs their musical number before a church audience in a very showy manner, then during the applause says “It’s for Him, it’s for Him.”
No. It’s pretty much for you and we’re all pretty aware of that.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
This verse is quoted frequently, and without fail, the application is “So you need to live for Jesus, that’s what Paul did.”
But that’s not what Paul said. He didn’t say, “For me to live is to live for Christ.”
For Paul, Life Is Christ.
Did you get that? Life Is Christ.
Jesus Christ once said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the life.
Paul said in Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
For to me to live IS Christ.
We don’t just live to do things for Christ; we live the life of Christ.
That is New Testament, Gospel reality.
No longer I but Christ.
I must decrease, He must increase.
This encompasses all of life, not just a couple things you got around to doing, most of which you did for pay or recognition of some sort.
The Gospel promises new life. Live it. It’s better than your life.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Hell is filled with people who thought they lived for Christ. Gospel reality, is deeper than this.