6 Ways to Resurrect Your Life
With Easter Sunday, or resurrection day, quickly approaching, many of us will turn our thoughts to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our ears will hear that Jesus conquered the grave, and defeated sin, and in doing so, cleared a path for us to do the same. It is my hope that with our thoughts on Christ, and our ears opening to hear the good news, that we will transform our behavior to coincide with our beliefs.
If we believe Jesus is our savior, we should act in a way that isn’t destructive to ourselves, or those around us. If we believe Jesus died for our sins, we should not live our lives chained to the sins of our past, but conquer them. If we believe Jesus was resurrected to give us life, we should honor that, by resurrecting our lives, and giving them to Christ!
The Easter story, as found in the Bible, describes the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, and the events that took place while He was there. First, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to great praise (Matt. 20-21). Jesus then spent some time in the temple teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 21-23). Jesus left the temple and spent time with God and his disciples (Matt. 24-26). Jesus was then brought in front of the people, convicted of sins He did not commit, and was fatally punished for them (Matt. 27). Thankfully, the Bible also tells us Jesus arose from the grave, and gave us instructions on how we were to live our lives (Matt. 28).
We need to use the story of a resurrected Jesus to transform our lives into something more than it is. Christ did not die for us, just so we could be forgiven and continue on in our old sin. Jesus created an opportunity for us to be more than conquerors. Jesus instructed the disciples on what they were to do now that sin and death were defeated. Jesus, also want us to follow His instructions.
The following list is 6 actions we can take to resurrect our lives today. These actions come straight out of the Easter story, and will establish a foundation of Christ in our lives. We can use the foundation of Christ in our lives to believe; we can overcome the sins of our past, establish our hearts to hear Jesus instructions, and transform our behavior to follow Him!
RESURRECT YOUR LIFE BY SERVING OTHERS
On His way into Jerusalem, Jesus laid out instructions for how we were to live our lives.
“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
While in Jerusalem, Jesus again shared instructions for how we can resurrect our lives by giving our actions over to God.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-38
Jesus continually instructs His people to love God, and to love others. Love, not in the emotional way we tend to think about love, but love in a way that is giving. God loved so much He gave (John 3:16). When we love our spouse, or our children, we will do anything to protect, provide, and care for their needs.
Jesus says we should love everyone in this way. We should be doing anything we can to love God. Jesus says we should use our heart, mind and soul to do so. We need to be behaving ways that is evidence of that. We should be sacrificing our time to pray to God, we should be sacrificing our time to fill our thoughts with His word, and we should be sacrificing our desires to seek what God desires for us!
Jesus also tells us we need to love others in that giving way. We should be just as willing to protect, provide, and care for people that surround our lives as we do for ourselves, and our families. We should be willing to give our time up to help our friends, we should be willing to give our money, or resources, to provide for people that are struggling around us, and we should be willing to work hard so that people that aren’t related to us can be blessed as a result of our actions!
Life is about serving God, and others, we need to take stock of our lives, and ask if we are living a life that is doing those two things. Is it our desire to see our needs met above Gods, or above others? Jesus died because He was willing to be a servant of all. Are we willing to make our lives a reflection of Jesus life? Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin and death. Are we willing to use our lives in a way that doesn’t take that for granted?
RESURRECT YOUR LIFE BY NOT FOLLOWING THE CROWD
Jesus died, and was raised, so that we would know there is nothing that can stop us.
“Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” Matthew 21:21
The world does not believe in having faith. The world believes that the wide easy road is worth taking. Jesus instructed us to not follow the ways of the world.
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.” Matthew 23:1-4
Believers should not wish to live like the crowds that are able to know the will of God, but be unwilling to lift a finger to see it done!
However, there are many believers that struggle with behaving in a way that serves God, and others, before themselves. We have a hard time fighting off the attacks of our sin nature that tell us to “do whatever feels right”. Jesus conquered death so that we would know our faith is strong enough to overcome these attacks. Jesus gave us resurrection power over our former lives. We need to be Christians in more than our words. Our behavior needs to back up our faith.
What if Jesus has said He was our Savior, but then decided not to die on the cross for our sins?
Jesus had faith to back up His words. We need to ask ourselves, do our actions back up our words?
RESURRECT YOUR LIFE BY SHARING GOD’S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE WITH OTHERS
The actions that we take for our faith need to be shared. People around us should recognize the actions we are taking are being done to glorify God. We should let others know we are trying to succeed in God’s will for our lives.
”As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Matthew 20:17-19
Jesus told His disciples the plans God had laid out for Him. When Jesus shared the plan God had for His life with others, they instantly became witnesses to the work God would do through the faith of Jesus. Without letting others know we are following the will of God in our lives, we are doing things for our own good. We are telling others that we are the master of our own destiny, and that we do not desire to give our heart, mind, and soul to Christ.
Our plans should follow where God wants to take us, even if we don’t want to go down that road.
“He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:29
Jesus went where God needed Him to go, but not where He wanted to go. Are we, as believers, going where God needs us to go, or are we going where we want to go? Jesus shared the plans to live in God’s will with others. Do we let others know, that the actions we are taking in life, are being done because God is leading us down this path?
RESURRECT YOUR LIFE BY FOLLOWING JESUS INSTRUCTIONS
Jesus knew why He was on earth, he had a vision from God for His life, and He followed it down a very narrow road. It is our job on this Earth to seek out God’s specific will for our own lives, and follow that road for ourselves. That road will always lead to serving God, by serving others.
To find God’s specific path for our lives, we must seek out God to tell us exactly what He asks of us, we do that in prayer. However, Jesus instructs us, at the end of the Easter story, on how we are to behave now that Jesus has finished His work on the cross.
”Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus tells us to our lives should do two things. First, we need to go out, and make disciples of all nations, which we do through sharing the gospel message with others. Second, we need to teach the disciples to obey commands, which were to love God and love others. We teach other believers to love God and love others, by behaving in a way they can imitate in their own lives. Believers are to live as Jesus lived, and He was the servant of all, so to live as Jesus lived we must behave in a way that serves others.
So, when we are trying to resurrect our lives we must learn how to serve others.
Jesus lived a live in service of others. We need to ask ourselves if we are imitating the life of Jesus. Do we work at a place that serves the needs of others? Are we doing that job with a humble attitude? Jesus instructed us to share the gospel message. Do our co-workers, friends, and family all know that we are saved? Do we do these two things to let others know that our lives are being directed by the instructions of Jesus? Are we doing both of these things? Are we living our lives by the instructions of Jesus, or have we made up our own?
RESURRECT YOUR LIFE THROUGH PERSEVERANCE
Jesus laid down His life for the debt of our sins to be paid. Jesus endured great hardship in order to serve our needs.
“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.” Matthew 27:28-31
When we face the challenges of walking in God’s will for our lives, we will be faced with persecution and trails. Jesus suffered the worst of these things, so that we would understand our ability to overcome them through faith. Jesus recognized the trials we would face when He gave us these instructions, but left us with encouragement to remind us we could overcome them all.
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Jesus knew that we could persevere through the trails we would face when we walk in God’s will. We need to ask ourselves if we are allowing Christ to always be with us. Are the trials we are facing today caused by actions that are following Jesus instructions, or are we struggling because we aren’t in the will of God? Are we asking Jesus to be with us while we are struggling, or are we going down our path alone?
RESURRECT YOUR LIFE THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST
Every year, the story of Easter will lead people to follow Christ. Every moment we spend fighting God’s will, can be torn down in a moment when we have faith in Christ. Jesus did instruct us to love God, share the gospel, and serve others, but none of that matters if we haven’t found faith in Christ for ourselves.
Jesus came to Earth as a man, He lived a sinless life, and died as a sacrificial payment for the sin we were born into. Jesus paid the price to pay for our salvation. Understanding the Bible, knowing the commandments, and going to church are not a prerequisite to receive the gift the death, and resurrection, of Jesus paid for.
We know this because Jesus became the savior of a man that hung next to Him on the cross.
“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:39-42
When we have faith to believe that Jesus did not sin, and instead, paid the price for our sins, we will be saved. The man who hung on the cross that was saved was just the first testimony of the Easter story providing a resurrection in the life of someone. Those testimonies of faith fulfilled, are still being written today!
Jesus was resurrected to give us an abundant life. We need to figure out if we are living a life that is evidence of that abundance. Do we believe that Jesus died for our sins? Do we believe that Jesus gave instructions for how we were to live? Are we faithfully following those instructions?
Are we living resurrected lives?