Tag Archives: living for Christ

A Disciplined Life

Around the turn of the millennium, most Americans were following a sport we knew very little about or even cared about until that time. Lance Armstrong was dominating the Tour de France like no one else. All of a sudden people were wearing yellow “Live Strong” bracelets and watching cycling. His story was compelling since he had overcome cancer and found a way to dominate a sport we cared nothing about. People accused him of cheating, but that’s what losers do…we thought. When it came out he was, it was hard to take. We’re familiar with how strict athletes are with their diet, their exercise and discipline. We chalked his success up to that instead of him doing the unthinkable.

The Bible tells the stories of everyday people, their choices and the results. Samson was a man who had taken a Nazarite vow from birth. It was a very disciplined life. He couldn’t cut his hair, drink wine or be near a dead body. It was a life of abstinence from indulgence in order to honor God. Samson followed the vow, but found ways to indulge himself in other areas that cost him his life and reputation. However, he wasn’t the only one to be a Nazarite. Samuel was given the same vow as a kid. The difference was that he honored the commitment in all areas of his life. God honored him and the people respected him. His commitment to his vow resulted in a life that was distinguished. He had seen from his predecessor Eli what happens when people indulge in their fleshly desires over their commitment to God.

1 Corinthians 9:25 says, “A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing constant self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever” (TPT). Paul compares us to an athlete here who is disciplined in all areas of their life. We all have the choice to honor God in all aspects of our lives or to honor Him in some areas and to indulge in others. It’s human nature to follow in the steps of Lance Armstrong and Samson. They’re examples of what happens when we give into our flesh. Samuel is an example of someone who is Spirit led. That’s the life we’ve been called to and the one we committed to when we accepted Christ. It’s not about being perfect or even trying to use our behavior to honor God. It’s understanding we’re called to a life of discipline with our eyes on eternity. We shouldn’t be trying to see what we can get away with and still get to Heaven. Instead, we should seek God and try to honor Him in all areas of our life.

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash


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Your New Life

One of the questions I ask young adults is, “How do you personally define a successful life?” If they struggle with the answer, we fast forward until their 80 and look at their life. Then I ask, “If you had a successful life in your eyes, what would you see?” Many times I hear people say, “Lots of kids or grandkids,” or “A full bank account,” or “Lots of property.” If they know where they want to end up, they can start working towards getting there. Now let’s flip the question, “At the end of your life, how will Jesus know you lived a successful life?”

I don’t mean that question as a Jesus Juke. I want you to think about whether you’re living for yourself or for Him. Do your goals match up with the goals He has for you? 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them” (NLT). If at the end of your life, you attained your measure of success, but not His, you’ve failed. In Mark 8:36, Jesus said, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

2 Corinthians 5 goes on to tell us that when we are in Christ, we receive a new life. With a new life comes new purpose. We no longer are to live for ourselves (old life). We are to now live for Christ (new life). This new life produces different fruit than the old one. The definition of success changes because your purpose changes. If you’re still working under your old definition of success in your new life, spend time asking God what His definition of success is for your life. It’s not too late to begin fulfilling your purpose in your new life.

Photo by Gene Chauvin on Instagram


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