In the span of just a few days I heard expressed the thought that the reason we, as believers, are still here in this world now is because God is not finished with us (each of us as an individual), and that He still has some work for us to do here for His purpose, to His Glory. It was stated by two different people in two different contexts, and not within the hearing of each other. Looked at with slightly different perspectives, but the same essential thought, that if there wasn’t something that God had for us to do here in this life, He would have taken us home to Him already.
For the believer in Jesus Christ, having this attitude is a faithful and obedient way to live. As the Apostle Paul describes himself in the opening of his epistles, we, like him, are bondservants of Jesus Christ. The Greek word used here, doulos, has the meaning of slave or servant, on either an involuntary or voluntary basis. But in the context of Paul’s self-description (or those of Peter in 2 Peter or Jude in his epistle), one need use it in the context of voluntary servitude; for these are men who came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and sought to serve Him, even unto death. And as privileged, by the grace of God, as we are through our faith in Christ to be in a place to serve Him, I believe any disciple of Jesus should view it in the voluntary sense of service to the Lord.
And now to the heart of the matter; I chose the word disciple instead of believer because I feel that if you are a true bondservant to Christ, you are a disciple. As a disciple you are a faithful follower of the Risen Lord, and not just simply a believer who has trusted and believed in Him as the only way to one’s salvation. As disciples, we should live our lives as if the Lord has work for us to do, living as if there is something He would have us do today for the Glory of His Name and the Growth of His Kingdom. If not, there truly is no earthly purpose to our lives. If His plans and purposes for us are complete, (or if we no longer actively serve the Lord; for we must remember we still have a sinful nature which rebels against Him at times), we might as well be called home to be with Jesus. He is a loving God, He wants us with Him for eternity, so why not start that life today?
But He has not called us yet, and we are still here. So let us serve the Lord. We may wish to be with Him (nothing wrong with that), but we should want to do His bidding first. As Paul noted in Philippians:
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. – Philippians 1:21-26
Paul even goes on in Philippians 1 to talk about letting one’s conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ; so Paul is looking for service to the Lord in a way that is honoring to the Lord. Good words to follow for the true disciple of Jesus.
Scripture has more guidance for us:
…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6
The Lord is doing a work in each of us, and is doing a work through each of us. If you are still here among us there’s something God has for you to do, and it may be something that someone, somewhere needs to experience in their life.
In our work for Christ we each have a race to run.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2
Running with endurance while looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher (italics mine) of our faith. We are to run until He decides our race has finished and His Will has been done. This is why we are still here, Jesus hasn’t decided our particular race is over. It is a race which involves obedience to Him, bringing glory to the Father, and growing the Kingdom by reaching others with the love of Christ and the good news of His Gospel.
You are still here and I am still here. Our Lord has not yet stepped out on the clouds to call His Bride up to meet Him, so for now we all remain here. There is something for each of us to do for the Lord today. We need do it with the love of Christ; not hating others (He didn’t hate anyone although He took false teachers and religious leaders to task), not complaining about life (He didn’t do that either, instead He encouraged others to live godly and obedient lives), and with a lot of prayer, even for those who are doing evil (He did a lot of that type of praying).
We remain, to proclaim Christ and speak His Gospel into a world that desperately needs it.
Let’s get to it and be about our Father’s business.