My Month of Living for Jesus
Pastor Amos Dada Ph.D.; P.Eng Chem Eng
Welcome to the month of August, our month of Living for Jesus. I trust you are enjoying summer as we are doing even in Canada, a nation that is known for severe cold weather. I remember reading ‘Word for Today’ by Bob Gas prior to my coming to Canada where he wrote ‘There are two seasons in Canada July and winter.’ Summer or winter, as you purpose to make a fresh decision to live for Jesus this month, as you encounter Jesus afresh this month I pray the manifold blessings that follow those who live for him will characterize your entire being in Jesus name. One of the scriptures that delight me about Jesus is in Acts 10:38.‘ He went about doing good.’ As Jesus is going about doing good this month, your house will not be passed over it shall be visited. Your business shall be visited but more than anything your spirit shall be visited. A new sense of urgency and fervency to love the Lord will come over you. As a matter of fact from this month, you will forever be on honeymoon with Jesus. I pray for you this month, all that has made you be living for Jesus without a spirit of commitment will disappear in Jesus name.
Categories of people you can live for
There are three categories of people you can live for, yourself, Satan or God (Christ). Living for yourself is about just being moral. You don’t rock the boat. You don’t go out to commit an obvious crime; you convince yourself you don’t need Christ. What will Christ do for me? I am fine Jack! Most Countries in the western world, Europeans, Americans, Canadian, Some Asian nations, Chinese and irreligious people are in this category. As far as they are concerned, they don’t need God. Hospital bills are the government funded robust health care system. Those who are jobless are on welfare, even if they do not work government pays them, the environment is serene, the infrastructure is in place nursing mothers are giving child support, children can go to school for free until Grade 12, good roads, steady power supply, and a healthy economy. Why do you need God? And so over ninety percent of people in these nations don’t care about going to church or ‘living for Christ.’
The second category totally gives their life to Satan. Such talk about the synagogue of Satan, Church of Satan. They belong to occults, some are voodooists, wizards and witches, they suck blood, belong to fraternities, ‘ogbonies’ and they kill people and do all the evil and weird things. They tell you if there is hell that is where they want to go. They sell their soul to the devil.
The third category is those who recognize that God made them, they are not evolutionists, atheists or agnostics, and they recognize that someone made them, they recognize their sinful nature, and they also want a way out of their sins. In the process, they get to know about the redemptive work of Christ on Calvary and they embrace it, they are not perfect but they continuously learn about the Master-Jesus Christ. We leaned early in physics there is a corresponding reaction to every action. Who you live for will determine where you will spend eternity in hell or heaven. Unfortunately while living for yourself may seem a lesser evil than living for Satan there are two destinations we are all destined for Hell or Heaven and only one of these routes leads to heaven- Living for Christ. Jesus says “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38
How do we live for Christ?
I know what is agitating your mind will be how do I live for Christ? It reminds me of when Peter preached in Acts Chapter Two and the people’s heart were melted and they asked ‘Men and brethren what shall we do’? He said ‘repent and be baptized in the Holy Ghost.’ It is the same scenario that is being replayed here. I hear the Spirit saying ‘repent and rededicate your life for Jesus.’ It is obvious that before we talk about living for Jesus you must have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Have you? Why Not? Do it now before reading the remaining part of this article. There are many ways to teach on how to live for Christ but permit me to use just two., namely: scripturally and experientially
How to live for Christ – Scripturally.
Living for Jesus was uppermost in the mind of many writers if not all the writers but time and space will not allow us to look at all of them. Let us single out Paul, whom you will agree with me spent most of his writings explaining the nitty-gritty of how to live for Jesus. Spending his time explaining to both Gentiles and Jews not just how to move from law to grace, but from idolatry and Judaism to Christ. Let us look at the mind of Paul when he was writing to The Galatians and Thessalonians:
1. Be crucified with Christ.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20 What does it mean to be crucified with Jesus? It means to see all your sins, your ugly and evil past nailed to the cross. Many of us today are not able to move forward in our Christian lives and do exploits for Jesus because of our baggage, our terrible past. Paul knew what he was talking about. If he did not see himself crucified with Christ how could he move past being an accessory to murder, the arrest of Christians and many unrecorded atrocities he committed. I remember reading a story in Word of Faith, A Magazine of Kenneth Hagins Ministry in 1981. He mentioned how a Christian sister came to him and requested that the Pastor Hagins should not laugh about what she wanted to say. The Pastor said he is not under a ban from laughter; go ahead with your story. She narrated how she has been a faithful Christian and how the husband was not. All her efforts to get the husband converted and alas, he was getting worse drinking and getting drunk day after day and keeping late nights. One day, she said she waited for her husband to return and when he came around in the early morning of that day, he was super drunk as usual. Before the wife could think, her emotions and anger had taken over and she gave the husband a dirty slap. The husband staggering to his bed just muttered: “get out of the way.” This woman was so sad about what she did. According to her, she was the ‘good Christian’ praying for her husband to be saved, and the unbeliever husband had never beaten, abused or assaulted her. She could not sleep the whole night. She prayed to God for forgiveness. In the morning she went to her husband. “Darling I am sorry about what I did yesterday.” What did you do yesterday? The husband asked. “I slapped you!” ‘Really! you slapped me’? Retorted the husband. The husband accepted the apology. This same woman came to her Pastor three years after, asking that he should help her plead with God because of her guilt. Kenneth Hagins said he had a good laugh. He told the woman you had more faith in your unbelieving husband than God. That since you confessed your sin that night you slapped your husband he said he has forgiven you, you never doubted him. How come you cannot see God forgiving you! You cannot effectively live for Christ until you see yourself totally CRUCIFIED with Christ.
2. Please God in all ways.
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, [a] we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. 2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body[b] and live in holiness and honor— 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways” 1 John 4:1-5
The summary of all the activities of men and women in Hebrews chapter eleven is that they pleased God on their faith, integrity, honesty, abhorrence of sexual immorality, boldness, doggedness, level, and many ways. To live for Christ is to practice what they did-please you, Maker
3. Imitate Christ. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Cor 11:1 Paul said the secret of his living for Christ is that he chose to follow Christ. All that Christ tells him to do is what he does. If he has plans to go somewhere and the Holy Spirit says no, he doesn’t force his way. If the Holy Spirit says he should go somewhere and the prophets say the place is dangerous that is where he is going. He says Jesus did not back out from the cross when it mattered, so he has refused to back out of dangerous assignments. Look at Moses too, he followed God and did what was essential instead of becoming a king in hell sorry Egypt.
How do we imitate in Jesus?
How he lived. How he loved. How he talked to the people. How he cared for the people.
How he forgave. How he showed mercy and kindness. How he comforted distress and oppressed people. How he took the side of the poor and the weak how he promised a new creation -a new heaven and earth. How he died for the people he loved. How he endured suffering for people he loved.How lovingly he introduced the Heavenly Father to people.
Isn’t that what Paul did? So go and do likewise! That is how to live for Jesus.
Experiential Method of Living for Christ.
There is an adage that says ‘Follow the people that know the road’ Jesus died and arose more than 2000 years ago. How did the people who believed him live for him? Go beyond the scripture above and dig into the history of men and women of God that believed Christ and championed the life of Christ. I gave a list of 20 God generals in my book “Understanding Principles, Power, Purpose, and People of Vision” get a copy and read other useful materials and study how people live for Christ. Let me mention some names for you and a little of what they did. John Wesley was known to be a member of the Church of England. But he started reading the Bible and preaching the gospel in a way that The Church of England regarded him not only as fanatical but heretical. At that point, he declared- If the Church of England will not allow me the whole world will be my parish. That was the genesis of The Methodist Church. To live for Christ is not to follow a routine. It is not about norms, rules, and regulations, it is willing to die for him, willing to spend and be spent for him.
Look at a person like Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola. The agent of change in African Pentecostalism. In recent times one of his pictures surfaced where he was preaching on Facebook. You will be amazed that his top dress did not match the lower pants. Yet this was a man that when he entered a city demons will be running out. The story was told how he planted a church in Efon Alaye a city in the western part of Nigeria. There was a forest that was recognized as the den of evil forces, where nobody enters and comes out alive. This man was given this land and he went there and cleared it and today churches abound in that city. He was a man of uncommon prayer life and fasting. To live for Christ is to have Christ as your focus. You are concerned with only one agenda that is to see his kingdom multiply on the earth. To live for Christ is not to be ostentatious. It s not our designer shoes and suits that dictate the way to live for Christ, it is the power and anointing we carry as a result of our being in His presence.
Another man of interest was Joseph Seymour. The agent of change in America Pentecostalism in the last century. I traveled to Los Angeles in 2006 during the Azusa Street Centenary gathering just to learn more about how people like that lived for Christ. It was said that these people will be praying for Holy Ghost and when the baptism of fire comes, neighbours will be seeing physical fire on the building and they will call the Fire Department. Compare how lukewarm our churches have become today because we do not understand how to live for Christ. How many churches do you enter today and you see them praying for the Holy Spirit Baptism? In Toronto or North America generally, go through the websites and look for programs, you will see at best a night vigil of two hours one Friday in a month for 99 percent of churches. Yet our own sense of living for Christ is predicated on how much of miracles we want to receive from Him. Have you read Psalm 103:7? Moses knew the ways of God and the people knew the acts. What that scripture is saying is that Moses knew how to live a sacrificial, sanctified life, not satisfied with nothing type of life with God. A man that will fast for forty days and forty nights. A man that will demand to see God physically face to face. Fasting is a taboo in our time. Someone said ‘my refrigerator is too loaded for me to go and be fasting!’ I pity you. Tell me how Christ and God will not but reveal his ways to Moses. While the rest were looking for the acts! No wonder they all died in the wilderness, except for Caleb and Joshua. I pray we shall not die in the wilderness in this generation. But our acts and lifestyle are not different from that of that generation, they refuse to see the Promised Land. These generations of Christians are not heavenly conscious. Take my word for it; take statistics of how many sermons preach this year in your church about Living for Christ, or hell, rapture, sin or similar topics. All we do as ministers are the analysis of paralysis or paralysis of analysis! May God save this generation! People like Martin Luther are uncomfortable in the grave. Marriages are crumbling because as husbands we fail to live for Christ. No more fathers in the house because men have become prodigal fathers. I am yet to see a generation like ours that have dull ears. People come to church day and night, hear sermons upon sermons yet their lives are not change. I read in the papers recently that Netherlands is closing down 19 prison yards because people are no more committing a crime, this is a place many people will be classified as a godless society because of their apathy to the gospel.Meanwhile in a nation where nearly every street is boasting of five churches crime and corresponding prisoners are increasing. And more prisons are built regularly! Is the gospel powerless or we just refuse to live the life we profess to believe. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ Screams Paul.
Time For Hard Questions?
Reader, I don’t know how long you have given yourself to Christ but do self-appraisal right now and mark your papers. What were the things you were doing before you claim you gave your life to Christ and you are no more doing? Which areas can you say you have really changed for better? What is the opinion of your co-workers, church members and colleagues about your Christian life? How many souls have you won to the Lord in the past three years? That is too much, how many people have you shared the gospel with? What is your art and heart of worship? How many minutes a day do you spend in prayer for yourself and in intercession for others? How generous and cheerful are you in terms of giving to the gospel? What is your prayer life like, low, lukewarm medium or hot? What is your bible reading level? Let us take it to another level, how many miracles have you allowed God to perform through you? What do you do in your church on a regular basis without living in sin? What contributions are you making either in the market place or the church? Recently I went to our church in Christ Apostolic Church Bethel Glendale Maryland, to inaugurate CAC Men Association. I was sharing the story of the founding fathers of CAC. Then it occurred to me that this Joseph Ayodele Babalola we are talking about that shook his generation with the unforgettable OKE OOye Ilesha revival in 1930 was just 26 years old! A 26-year-old young man raising the dead, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers and changing his generation. Don’t you think is the time we live for Christ if we really claim is our Lord and savior?
What to do.
Do you really want to know how to live for Christ? Let me recommend a book for you I read about 35 years ago that changed my life- Forgive Me, Natasha by Sergei Kourdako. That book taught me the difference between believe and Christianity. Friend, purpose to live for Christ. It is not too late. The perilous times that Paul wrote about are here already. You cannot affect this generation positively until you make a covenant to live after Christ. Whatever it means. Until you are willing to carry your cross, until you stop your lackadaisical attitude to your faith, you are not there. One time I went to USA with my wife to minister in a church. The pastor assigned a brother to take us out to the mall to do some little shopping. The brother was telling us how they do not come to church until the pastor phones them! My question is ‘is that how to live for Christ?’ Many today think they are doing their pastor a big favour by attending services! What a shame! Is that how to live for Christ. No wonder the author of Hebrew has this to say:
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.13 For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.Heb 5:12-14
The battle of this generation cannot be won by the attitude of the clergy and the laity of this generation. Listen, I do not exonerate myself. As I am writing this I am charging myself to develop a greater passion for living for Christ. Living for Christ is to be a soldier of Christ, battle ready. Let us leave the milk of the gospel, the doctrines of repentance from dead works and go out for strong meat and win the battle that our master has won for us. By conquering nations for Christ.
Let us resolve from this month to surrender our lives, money, time, talent, and treasure for Christ not in words and letter but in love, action and for real. The truth of the matter is this generation is waiting for us as sons and daughter of God to manifest! May we manifest?
I call on children, youth, young adults, men, women, fathers, ministers, followers, change the way you are practicing Christianity and really follow the Lord. Heaven will make it easy for us.
© 2023 Nigerian Canadian Newspaper Canada. Powered by NASCI.