"If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord," (Romans 14:8).
Are you questioning your life‘s purpose? Are you trying to figure out what God’s will is? You are not alone. Everyone wants to know that their life means something, has some sort of significance and this verse helps provide the answer.
If We Live, We Live for the Lord
What does it mean to live for the Lord? Our life comes from the Lord because without him we would cease to exist. Our life was never meant to be all about us even though from the moment we were conceived, that is our natural inclination. It isn’t until we mature and grow in our wisdom and knowledge of the Lord that we are able to appreciate this fact. We must take the entire Bible into consideration as we try to understand and grasp this text.
If we’re not to live for ourselves and we are to live for the Lord, what does that mean? All throughout the Old and New Testament we see examples of making our life about others. We are to put others needs above our own. However, it doesn’t mean we’re to allow ourselves to be abused and taken advantage of. In some situations and circumstances, the Lord does call us to sacrifice for others, but that always comes with initiation from the Holy Spirit.
The challenge comes as we put others needs above our own. Are we viewing it as an honor and privilege or depressed and down trodden? The change in this heart attitude can only come from the Lord working in our life. Christ saw his service and sacrifice as a joy. He wasn’t depressed for having to leave heaven and come to this earth. He wasn’t depressed because of his lack of divinity. He willingly humbled himself and made himself obedient to the cross. So how does our heart attitude need to change today?
If We Die, We Die for the Lord
It isn’t until we learn how to put others needs and the Lord’s above our own that we are able to appreciate what it means to die to our selfishness and self will. One cannot coexist with the other. One always precedes the other. If we are living for ourself, then we are not living for the Lord and others. If we are living for the Lord, then we’re automatically living for him and others.
So who needs our service and self-sacrifice today? As a mother it can be something as simple as doing laundry so our family has clean clothes to wear. As the provider of the home it could mean getting up and going to work to provide for our family for the day. However, how are we to find joy in our death? We can recognize that our life has meaning as we serve those closest to us.
We never fully learn to appreciate what we have until it’s gone and can be disillusioned into thinking that our life doesn’t matter when we fail to recognize that others depend on us. Our attitude and actions are never only self-inflicted, but rather have a riple effect to those in and around us.
Learning to live means learning to die to ourselves every day. We are to consider it a joy to put others' needs above our own knowing that as we serve others we are serving the Lord. He did not call us to be slaves, but rather called us his friends and what we do for the least of these we are specifically doing for him. Every action and reaction has the potential to be an act of worship as our service is an act of praise.