Preparation of the outward life

Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Philippians 2:17

And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. 2 Corinthians 12:15

These verses characterize not only the Apostle Paul’s labors for the Lord, but the essence of his life. Poured out and spent. Doing without, suffering want and personal hardship, enduring rejection and loneliness …. he lived with reckless abandon for the glory of Jesus only. I wonder how many times this man’s heart had been absolutely broken by betrayals, by false accusations, by rejections; and yet still his life was one poured out and spent. Paul could have lived a comfortable life, but the Lord had called him to so much more than that. It cost Paul significantly to follow and serve Jesus, but Oh the reward of it!

Paul called himself a bondservant of Christ. The word here translated bondservant is actually the word slave (doulos).  It is a strong word, carrying the following meanings:

  • It refers to one born into slavery.
  • It refers to one who is in a relation to another which only death can break
  • It refers to one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another.
  • It refers to one who serves another even to the disregarding of his own interests.

Disregarding our own interests? Losing our will in the will of another? This mentality doesn’t just happen to us….it must be cultivated.

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:7-8

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20

It MUST be cultivated. We simply cannot afford to waste these few years we have been given on this earth catering to our own desires to live comfortable lives. There is a world that Jesus died for, and that He yearns for…precious souls that His blood was shed for. Every day we meet them and pass by them in this life. They are at the grocery store, at our jobs, our schools. And they are waiting to hear the words of this life. But an unprepared life will walk through her days absolutely oblivious to the perishing around her.

One day we will stand before the Lord Jesus. The book of Revelation talks about Him wiping away our tears. I believe those will be tears of regret when we see how much Jesus wanted to do through our lives and how little we were prepared and available for His purposes.

No matter who you are, or how insignificant you feel your life is, and how impossible it seems that your life could ever make a real difference for eternity, I encourage you to adopt this prayer as the motto of your life:

Lord, let me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am.

And then watch in amazement as He takes your prepared life and ministers to a world with it.

Today you can purpose to be a vessel set apart and prepared for the Master’s use. Devoted to the Word and prayer…..absolutely surrendered to the Beloved….poured out and spent that Jesus might have His testimony through your life. This, dear brother and sister, is our reasonable service and our great privilege. Whatever the sacrifices we may have to make to have a life prepared to serve the Lord Jesus, on that day we see His face we will only wish we had sacrificed more. It’s gonna be worth it all!!

 

 

2 thoughts on “Preparation of the outward life

  1. The PorchBaby May 4, 2014 / 12:42 am

    Beautiful prayer–disproportionate to our sin nature and our fears.God made us in His image; He can’t go against himself but He certainly can stretch us beyond who we think we are.
    I’m poured out too:).
    Blessings!

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