I recently heard Greg Boyd say how troubled he was that “so many people say they are willing to die for Christ, yet they aren’t willing to live for Him”. How easy it is for us to proclaim our loyalty to Jesus and say that we would never deny Him, even if that meant being killed. If that is true, why is it we live lives that look exactly like those around us? How can it possibly be true that we would have the resolve to die for Christ when we can’t even muster the discipline to live for Him in our daily lives?
I submit that we are fooling ourselves if we honestly believe we would be willing to give our lives for Christ if we are not even willing to sacrifice a few comforts in the here and now. We are a society obsessed with fitting in and keeping up appearances. We buy cars we don’t need and houses we can’t afford. Our appetite for the latest electronic gadgets – be they phones or tablets – draw our attention away from the world around us. We walk heads down through streets teeming with people in need, people desperate for our attention.
How many of us would be willing to give up our wardrobes for Jesus? How many would sacrifice their comfort t foods? How many are willing to put God first in the way they handle their finances? We can’t even give back to God the things He has given us in the first place. Yet we say we would die for Him. Really? Would you stand silent as people slapped you, spit on you, and beat you. Would you humbly submit to evil people for the glory of God? Jesus did this for us. He gave up everything. Do we really believe we could do the same?
Millions of Christians around the world are threatened and persecuted for their faith. They stand strong and endure the trials with which they are afflicted. They consider it all to their gain. Meanwhile back in America, we would simply “die without our morning Starbucks run”. It’s pathetic. We are the most blessed nation in the history of the world and instead of utilizing our resources for the Kingdom we have instead become fat and lazy, reveling in our excess. Is this really the narrow way of which Jesus spoke?
How much longer will we sleep? How much longer will we deceive ourselves? How long until we cast aside the Westernized religion of Christianity and instead pursue a life of following Jesus? Before we declare our willingness to die for Christ, we need to first determine if we are willing to live for Him. If we are unwilling to live for Jesus, we will never be able to die for Jesus. Enough playing church and acting like someone we’re not; Jesus calls us to a life that is all in or all out. Will you live for Him?