Living for Jesus

I am taking this post DIRECTLY from Tim Keller's book, The Reason for God, pages 171-172.

Keller quotes C.S. Lewis and then has his own words. C.S. Lewis will be in italics and Keller will be in normal text.
The Christian way is different - both harder and easier. Christ says, "Give me ALL. I don't want just this much of your time and this much of your money and this much of your work - so that your natural self can have the rest. I want you. Not your things. . . Hand over the whole natural self - ALL the desires, not just the ones you think wicked but the ones you think innocent - the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead.

The almost impossibly hard this is to hand over your whole self to Christ. But is is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is remain what we call "ourselves" - our personal happiness centered on money or pleasure or ambition - and hoping, despite this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you cannot do. 
  (Is Christianity Hard or Easy?, C.S. Lewis)

Tim Keller's conclusion...

If you don't live for Jesus you will live for something else.

If you live for career and you don't do well it may punish you all of your life, and you will feel like a failure.

If you live for your children and they don't turn out all right you could be absolutely in torment because you feel worthless as a person.

If Jesus is your center and Lord and you fail him, he will forgive you. Your career can't die for your sins . . . We all are being pursued by guilt because we must have an identity and there must be some standard to live up to by which we get that identity. Whatever you base your life on - you have to live up to that.

Jesus is the one Lord you can live for who died for you - who breathed his last breath for you...

Everybody has to live for something. Whatever that something is becomes "Lord of your life," whether you think of it that way or not. Jesus is the only Lord who, if you receive him will fulfill you completely, and if you fail him, will forgive you eternally.   TIM KELLER

The single most important decision you can make at the beginning of 2023 is to LIVE FOR JESUS.

Every other decision will emerge out of WHAT, WHO, and WHY you are living.

First Lewis, than Keller, and let's finish with the words of JESUS.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"  Matthew 16:24-26

In Grace and Truth,
Pastor Brian Rice