Do you want to live a life sold out for Christ? Let me share a story…
Last week was my husband’s birthday! Happy Birthday honey!! My mother-in-law did an awesome job on his present this year. She got him 2 tickets to see the Newsboys! When she came over to give them to him, she said, “I tried to get reserved seating, but they were all sold out.” Honestly, it doesn’t matter to him, he is just happy to go.
But hearing that those seats were all sold out made me start thinking. The concept of sold out was stirring in my mind and I began to think about what that really means as Christians. To be sold out for Christ. To live a life purchased by Jesus, one that is lived out (spent) for Him, a life of service and sacrifice and one completely surrendered to His will. How exactly do we do that?
Let’s look at a wonderful example of someone who lived a life sold out for Christ. The Apostle Paul. His story of faith and transformation is one we are all familiar with. Born as “Saul,” he was a well-educated Jewish man who began to persecute Christians. He despised them, and one might say he even hated them. We hear in Scripture in Acts 9:1-2 (NIV):
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.”
And it’s crazy to think that he basically chased down Christians and tried to imprison them just because they were followers of Jesus.
As we saw Paul walking around trying to round up as many Christians as he could while traveling to Damascus, he was met with great opposition. Scripture tells us that as he neared Damascus he encountered God.
… suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.” Acts 9:3-5 (NIV)
Not many of us have had God experiences quite like Paul did. We see the men who were traveling with him speechless because they heard God speaking but could see no one around. Imagine what Paul was thinking as he got up from the ground, completely without sight. His blindness continued for three days until God sent Ananias to cure him.
AN EYE OPENER
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.” Acts 9:15-18 (NIV)
From that moment on, Paul lived a life sold out for Jesus! He immediately visited the disciples and began preaching to all who would listen. What a story in which God softens Paul’s heart and we see his miraculous conversion of faith. Those who heard him were amazed by this change and people began to ask those around them, “Wasn’t he the one who was taking Jews as prisoners and now he is preaching fearlessly in the name of Jesus?” Paul gained power and recognition and as time went on, the Jewish people conspired to kill him. Even as his life was in danger, he continued to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. With no fear. His followers had to hide him and constantly move him around to save his life. Still he continued to preach, and Scripture tells us in Acts 9:31 (NIV):
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”
What a story of a man whose heart was changed. Transformed by Jesus. And as Paul realized the truth of Christ, who He was and what He had come to do… Paul immediately began living a life completely sold out for Jesus. Everything he did was for Him. Everything he preached was about who Jesus was and what He came for. Paul realized that Jesus had purchased his life. By His blood on the cross. In turn, Paul knew he must live a life “spent” for Christ. Out of gratitude for what Jesus did for him. Lived out each day following Jesus. One that was about sacrifice and one that was completely surrendered to God. That is a beautiful example of a life sold out for Christ.
Does that still apply to our lives today?
We are called to follow Jesus with the passion and zeal that Paul did.
Called to live out a life spent in sacrifice and completely surrendered to God. One that is sold out for Christ. Want to hear more about how God transformed my own heart? I share my story here, in this post Relentless.
A LIFE PURCHASED
To live a life purchased, just as Paul did, is to live a life that is no longer our own. We belong to Him. Scripture tells us that Jesus paid the ultimate price for our redemption. In 1 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV), Paul addresses the church in Corinth and reminds his brothers and sisters in Christ that because of the price that Jesus paid for our lives we should live with thanksgiving in our heart.
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge.”
To live a life purchased, we must live a life that is set apart from the rest of the world. The song “Sold Out” by Hawk Nelson is an awesome song about living a life purchased by the blood of Jesus. You might want to check it out!
I think that this is just the type of song that Paul would sing if he was here today. We are called to live a life in which we are leaders and not followers. Called to believe when everyone else doubts. To step out in faith when fear has taken hold because as followers of Jesus, we KNOW the battle has already been won!
Not letting trials and difficulties overcome us but using them as an opportunity to put our faith into action.
To live a life that is completely surrendered to God is to live a life worthy of Christ. One in which we turn our hearts completely to Him. Putting Him first in all that we do. Letting Him take part in every detail of our lives. Trusting His will for us, knowing that His plans are better than our plans.
Spreading the Gospel of Christ to those around us. Giving His love and message of hope to those who may have never heard it. In the book of Matthew, Jesus taught on the Greatest Commandment. He spread this news to the Pharisees as they tried to test him. His answer was simple:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mt 22:37-38 (NIV)
These two Commandments are the simplest definitions of how to live a life surrendered to God. Love God. Love others. Put it in action every day. This is a life sold out for Christ!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to redeem our lives. Help us to live a life that honors you in all that we do. Give us the grace each day to live out “The Greatest Commandment.” To love you God with all our hearts and to love those around us as we would love ourselves. Let us remember with humility and gratitude that we are your children and you purchased our lives with the greatest gift of all… your Son Jesus! Open our hearts to live lives surrendered to you, putting you first in all that we do. We want to live lives that are sold out for you, God! We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.