What do you live for?

what do you live forOne day your car will end up in a junk yard. Your clothes will end up in a goodwill. Your trophies will end up on a dusty shelf. Your accomplishments, titles, and degrees won’t amount to much. All that will matter then is not how well you lived for yourself, but how well you lived for others.

And serving others is portrayed perfectly in the life of one man who is the standard of the life that we should live, the example that we should follow, the heart and mind that we should develop.

When Jesus woke up every morning to a brand new day and when He was walked through the streets of this world He had only one thing on His mind: serving others. Helping those who were in need. Shedding light those who were walking in darkness. Bringing hope to those who were living in brokenness.

It seems like we have it all backwards these days.

This world is constantly telling us that it’s all about taking care of ourselves. It’s all about climbing higher on the corporate ladder. It’s all about getting the nicer house, the fancier car, the brand name clothes, the biggest bank account. It’s good to stop and care for others once in a while, but in the end you have to ask yourself the question: “what’s in it for me?”

After all, isn’t that what it’s about? Making sure that I’m happy. That I get what I want. That my life turns out exactly how I want it to? That at the end I get the cake AND the cherry on top?

At least that’s what the world wants me to believe. That the happier I make me the better my life will be.

But the reality is… the closer I get to reaching that dream, the farther I get from fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.

Imagine if Jesus lived for the “American Dream”. He would waste no time stopping to help others. He would be more worried about getting the next raise and less concerned with the hurting neighbor that could use a hand next door. He would care more about gaining popularity and approval from others rather than speaking the truth and pleasing God.

His life wouldn’t have ended up on a cross where He was mocked, spit upon, and beaten by people. His life would have ended on a pedestal where He was revered, applauded, and exalted by men.

But Jesus didn’t live for Himself. He lived for God. And He lived for others.

In fact, He was a homeless man with only the clothes on His back. He didn’t earn a living the way any ordinary person would. He didn’t get ordained into an important position somewhere where people would come to hear Him speak. He was a simple street preacher. He didn’t need a podium to speak His message. He didn’t need a church to attend where He’d minister to people. He ministered every day to the people that crossed His path.

This is our Jesus. The man that we are supposed to become more like every day. The man that we are supposed to take example from. The man by whose words we strive to live by.

His life doesn’t paint such a pretty picture does it? Especially when the picture the world paints is exactly the opposite.

We want to hear that our life should end in a nice house, with a nice car, and a nice retirement fund. Yet our savior’s life ended on a cross.

We want to hear that we should live to make ourselves happy. Yet Jesus’ life was all about bringing joy to others by sharing the good news of salvation.

We want to hear that the road we walk will be nice and easy. Yet the road Jesus walked was nothing close to nice and easy.

Today… my question is, who do you live for? For you or for others?

Do you chase the American dream or God’s dream for your life?

Do you care about what God cares about?

My prayer for this year is to live in light of eternity.

In light of the fact that this world I live in is temporary.

In light of the reality that I’m going to leave this earth the same way I came into it: with nothing.

And the truth that what matters is not how I live for myself, but the way I live for others.

I want to have ears that are always listening to that quiet voice of God.

I want to have eyes to see those who are suffering.

I want to have hands that are ready to help those who are in need.

I want to have a mouth that is ready to speak encouragement and hope to the weary and discouraged.

I want to have a back that’s ready to help carry the burden’s that others bear.

I want to have feet that are ready to go wherever God calls me to share the good news.

I want to have a heart like Jesus.

I want my life to be lived for more than getting what I want but rather for giving everything that I have… so that God gets what He wants.

Today, don’t forget to live for what matters: first God, then others. And at the end… even you will happy. Not because of what you gained by living for yourself, but what you gave away by living for others.

You can gain the whole world and still lose your soul.

Or you can give up what matters to you in this world… and get the ultimate dream everyone should live for: eternity in heaven.

It’s up to you.

Be blessed.  Anna… ♥

For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life?- Mark 8:36

helping others[Image creator unknown. Please respond if you know the author so credit can be given.]

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6 thoughts on “What do you live for?

  1. Recently I have been thinking on the apostolic heart of Paul and how his heart was transformed into one of fatherly love for the church. He ultimately lived and died for Christ and desired to see the Body of Christ come into its full calling. He wanted to see the church rid itself of worldly motivations and idols. His life is truly a powerful example of what to live for. Living for the Kingdom of God is everything. I think the American dream is under strain. I actually see that nations are under judgement for their greed and Gods protection is lifting. However, judgement begins at the church. This is a juddering revelation. God looks first on His Body and where we are at.

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    • So true. The church is supposed to be the light to the world. To stand for truth. And when we don’t do what God calls us to that’s when the darkness seeps in and we start resembling the world rather than being set apart from it.

      I’ve been studying Paul’s life more closely this year (than any in the past) and I have to agree with you. The more I Iearn about him, how he preached, and how he lived the more in awe I am of how great of a man he was. Definitely a transformed person from who he used to be. His life is proof of how gracious our God is and how He can change any life around and use it for His glory!

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  2. Hi Anna,
    Its such a great message that you have shared here & I truely agree with each & every word that you wrote. Infact, I also believe that the purpose of my life is to bring happiness in lives of those around me, to help them, to care for them, to be concerned about them.
    But, when I move forward to try implementing it practically…it becomes so challenging…thr r people who try to take undue advantage of your kindness..ok i can ignore thr reactions…I can b wat I want to be…serving others unconditionally.
    But, the other conflict is , I too hv a family, parents, siblings…who need my support & I just can’t ignore them & move to outside world helping them…
    In most of the cases, I felt outside world plays wid my kindnes…wid my emotions…they keep finding why I am concerned..they start relying more n more like a parasite,…they start becoming a burden…
    I just PRAY GOD…to give me a vision of who actually needs me…& to guide me for doing the best I can for them.
    Besides that, I can only stick 2 one thing that I never want bad for others…no ill-feeling..no jealousy…no envy… I don’t have those feelings for others…I want all to be happy & contented .. 🙂

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    • I think it’s so easy to have people take advantage of others who are always willing to give their time, energy, efforts, and kindness (like you) and unless you give yourself to doing things you know God specifically calls you to do you can get burdened, stressed out, and overwhelmed fast. And by that point any desire you have to serve others starts to disappear.

      I know I’ve had moments in my life of serving in ministry that I had to figure out what my priorities were, where I could give my time the most, and how to not lose my relationship with God in the process of the “busyness” of doing things “for Him” (which should be the #1 priority). They key to figuring it out is seeking guidance from God, knowing what your priorities are, and learning how to balance it all throughout your days.

      Good luck to you in finding out where you can be used best to serve God. May He give you the counsel and wisdom you need to know where He wants to place you next. Be blessed!

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