Living a full life

Living A Full Life In Christ

Rarely do we, as followers of Jesus in the US, contemplate the idea of dying for our faith. It feels theoretical, distant, and irrelevant to our daily lives. However, it is essential for us to recognize that thousands of Christians are martyred worldwide every year, and countless others face high levels of persecution. While it may be challenging to imagine, it prompts us to ask a couple of different questions: “Are you willing to LIVE for Jesus?” AND “Are you living a full life in Christ?”

Living for Something

Regardless of our faith background or life circumstances, the fundamental truth remains: we are all living for something. Our lives are driven by a vision of what we consider to be the good life. Whether consciously or unconsciously, our pursuits, choices, and actions are shaped by this underlying belief. It influences our priorities, goals, relationships, and even our self-perception.

Understanding what we are truly living for is of paramount importance. It goes beyond mere introspection; it is an exploration of our deepest desires, values, and motivations. What we truly live for becomes the compass that guides our decisions and actions. It captures our hearts, shaping our affections and passions. It holds sway over our thoughts and attitudes, dictating how we perceive ourselves and the world around us.

In essence, what we live for becomes the Lord of our lives. It exercises a controlling influence over us, molding our character and directing our paths. It becomes the lens through which we view success, fulfillment, and happiness. It determines the choices we make and the paths we pursue.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to examine what truly controls our lives and surrender ourselves to the Lordship of Christ. Jesus invites us to place Him at the center of our lives, embracing His teachings, values, and love, and allowing them to shape our character. When Jesus becomes the Lord of our lives, His truth and grace guide our pursuits, and our actions are motivated by love for God and others.

The Fullness of Life

Jesus promised that He came so that we may have life and have it to the full. Jesus’ promise of abundant life is a remarkable invitation to experience a life of fullness and richness. He came not just to offer salvation and forgiveness of sins but also to reveal the true essence of what it means to live. The story of Stephen in the book of Acts provides us with a front-row seat to the good life that God desires for each and every one of us. While Stephen is often associated with martyrdom, the emphasis of his life was not on his death but on the fullness of his life.

In Stephen’s story, we witness a man who, despite the challenges and opposition he faced, exemplified the abundant life that Jesus promised. Stephen’s life was marked by a deep and intimate relationship with God, characterized by his being “full of” the Holy Spirit, wisdom, faith, grace, and power. These qualities were not mere attributes but a reflection of his surrender to the Lordship of Christ.

Stephen’s fullness of life was not defined by external circumstances but by his internal spiritual reality. He experienced the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, which enabled him to speak boldly and with wisdom, perform signs and wonders, and exhibit grace even in the face of persecution. Stephen’s life was a testament to the supernatural work of God within him, empowering him to live beyond his own strength and abilities.

His fullness of life also stemmed from his unwavering faith. Stephen firmly believed in the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and fearlessly proclaimed it, regardless of the consequences. His faith propelled him to stand up for truth and justice, even in the face of opposition from religious leaders. It was this steadfast faith that gave him the confidence to endure persecution and ultimately face death with grace and forgiveness.

Stephen’s life teaches us that the fullness of life in Christ is not dependent on external circumstances but on our internal transformation and alignment with God’s purposes. It is a life that transcends the temporal and connects with the eternal. It is a life marked by spiritual vitality, wisdom, faith, and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.

When we embrace the fullness of life that Jesus offers, our perspectives shift. We begin to view our lives not as mere fleeting moments but as part of a grand narrative, woven together by God’s redemptive plan. We recognize that our purpose extends beyond personal success or self-gratification. Instead, it becomes intertwined with God’s mission of love, reconciliation, and transformation in the world.

Stephen’s story challenges us to examine our own lives and reflect on the quality of our pursuit of fullness. Are we living with a deep sense of purpose, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and steadfast in our faith? Do we embrace the transformative work of God within us, allowing His grace and wisdom to shape our thoughts, words, and actions?

By following Stephen’s example, we can experience the fullness of life that Jesus promised. It is a life lived in alignment with God’s will, guided by His Spirit, and dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel. It is a life marked by sacrificial love, unwavering faith, and an eternal perspective. As we live out this fullness, we become vessels of God’s grace and agents of His kingdom, making a tangible impact on the world around us.

While the idea of dying for our faith may feel distant and theoretical, it is more beneficial to focus on living for Jesus. The life of Stephen serves as a powerful inspiration, showing us how to embrace the abundant life that Jesus promises us.

Let’s fix our gaze on Jesus and let Him radically transform and influence every aspect of our lives.


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