The Goal of the Christian Life

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The Goal of the Christian Life

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” – John 12:24

The goal of the Christian life is death, not success. A popular teaching says that if we follow God, we will prosper materially. God may, in fact, bless His people materially, but few can make this claim among third-world countries. Wealth must never be the goal of a person’s life, only a by-product.

Being a Person Under Authority

A missionary to a Middle-Eastern country has shared a motto among their ministry team: “God does not require success, but radical, immediate obedience.” Jesus’ obedience gained Him the cross. It did not gain Him popularity among the heathen, the religious or financial success, or a life of pleasure. His obedience resulted in His death on the cross. This is the same goal Christ has for each of us–death of our old nature so that He might live through us. That may not sell well among outcome-based Christian workplace believers, but it will result in an eternal reward that far exceeds any earthly reward. “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12).

The Christian life is a paradox–the first will be last, death in return for life, and we are encouraged to offer praise to God to overcome a spirit of heaviness. It requires faith in a God who operates from a different set of values that are sometimes difficult to measure from human standards. Let death work in you a life that only God can raise up.

3 Comments

  • Brandon

    Stephnie, thank you for responding to me 🙂

    I completely agree with you. I believe that radical obedience to God (looking at evil and saying “you are just a cup from my Father to drink” (Jason Upton)) is our means of surrendering to His ability to create the most powerful, awe inspiring and world changing events, miracles, etc.

    All my life, I have wanted to remind people that we do this, we take this cup, we fight this good fight for JOY!

  • Stephnie

    Brandon,
    I enjoyed and appreciated your comment. However, Jesus obedience was the only way to restore our relationship with The Father. The only way for Him to have OVERCOME was to suffera horrible death. So we could be conquerors through Him….
    The scriptures show us all the way to the cross His radical obedience to the Father…Take this cup from me..not my will but ghy will be done. ..Jesus was man and God…I don’t see the man having joy in going to the cross and Him as God He had to be separated from the Father’s love as he hung on the cross I don’t read joy into that either…..

  • Brandon

    While I agree with the first part of this statement: ““God does not require success, but radical, immediate obedience”, I do not agree with this statement: “Jesus’ obedience gained Him the cross.”

    The Father gave His son a cup to drink and Jesus did not feint from the radical obedience. But it was for JOY that He did so and what He gained was a path and a power to eternal relationship with those that call Him Lord.

    While I love your work, this is the type of Devotion that teaches Christians to view God as an arbiter of pain and suffering. It creates very timid people who carry a gospel on their tongue but not in their hearts.

    We seem to focus on the former part of the verse “you will have suffering….”, instead of on the latter “but do not fear, I have OVERCOME the world.” We are more than conquerors through Christ b/c of what we gain in relationship with Him. I believe that this relationship causes all other suffering and pain to pale in comparison to the wonder of knowing Jesus.

    Without wonder in our hearts, it’s impossible for us to have meaning in our lives ~Ravi Zacharias

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