When we meet Jesus, He changes our life’s purpose. Before Jesus, our purpose is all about us - it’s about money, pleasure, greed, lust, and anything else to “make me happy.” We harbor bitterness in our heart and endeavor to be better than others. But Jesus. Jesus comes in and changes us from the inside out. Just like He did with Saul, Jesus changes us into people of love. Our life’s purpose becomes to love God and to love others. Do you love like this? Let’s live our life on purpose.
Life On Purpose: Life Change
Life Change: From the Inside Out
In our culture today, many people do just about anything to fit in. They change how they act, what kind of words they use, or even what they look like to try to look like the world around them. Sometimes, we even become like the world around us without even realizing it, as we are infiltrated by the messages that it sends us each day.
In this series, we’ve explored how the Christian life differs greatly from the world around us. To be different means that we have to fight against how the world tells us to live and, instead, live with a purpose to glorify God and show others who He is. When we live with this as our purpose, our life – and our heart – begins to change.
When we look at Paul’s life in Acts 9, the people that he encountered noticed that he had changed when they looked at his life and saw how Jesus had changed him. But the change started in his heart. It started when he met Christ, and him meeting Christ changed all aspects of his life, from the life choices he made to him sharing Jesus with the people in Damascus, Jerusalem, and every place that he went.
His life changed as a result of his heart change.
What the Bible Says about Life Change
1 Peter 2:12 says, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they may accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” When our hearts and lives are changed by Jesus, we go from living for the things of this world – things like materialism, money, pleasure, greed, and lust – to living for Jesus and being obedient to what He calls us to.
The Bible emphasizes the importance of Christ-followers “dying to ourselves,” as a result of us being crucified with Christ. “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” Galatians 2:20 says. It’s because of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross that we now live for Christ and die to our selfish desires. Our lives begin to look less like our culture’s expectations and more like the way that Jesus lived.
All of this life change is a result of us becoming sanctified, or the process of becoming more like Jesus, as we grow in spiritual maturity and wisdom. When we give our lives to Jesus, we are called to live differently than those around us. We are God’s “royal priesthood” and “holy nation,” (1 Peter 2:9) and those titles demand responsibility. They don’t require perfection, as that is unattainable by all but Jesus, but they do require a dedication to obedience and a choice to live like Jesus.
Searching Your Heart
Though we all still have sinful natures, and we all will be fighting against those natures for the rest of our lives here on earth, we, too, all make choices each and every day. We choose to follow Jesus or to follow our flesh and its desires. Friends, let the change that Jesus has made in your heart direct your path. In Psalm 139, David cries out to God, asking him to “search his heart” for any “offensive way” in him. Despite his heart being one after God’s own, David still recognized his need for our Savior to show him the ways in which his heart was serving his sinful nature instead of serving Christ.
When our heart is chasing after the Lord and longing to be obedient to Him is when our life choices and purpose become about love – loving God and loving others. We begin to serve wholeheartedly and act in ways that bring glory to Christ, not ourselves. We grow in spiritual maturity, which positively affects our lives in every way.
There are some good questions that you can ask yourself to gauge whether your life is reflecting Christ. How different does my life look from non-Christians’ lives? Is my primary motivation to serve Christ and others? What are my priorities and does my life reflect those priorities? Am I seeing spiritual growth in myself? Are others seeing spiritual growth in me?
Beyond simply asking these questions, the most significant thing you can do is make David’s prayer your own. Ask the Lord to search you and show you any offensive way in your heart. God knows you and loves you, even the darkest parts of your heart that no one else can see. He longs for you to cry out to Him to change your heart to match His. That’s when true life change happens.