FOR CHRIST’S SAKE
Our prayers usually end with these words, "For Christ’s sake." We desire that God should look upon the face of His Beloved Son, and deal with us according to the merit of our Suffering Substitute. But this is only one side of this great truth God also desires us to look upon the face of His Son, and for Christ’s sake, suffer, serve, and glorify the Father. This is the true motive for Christian life and work. How much will a mother suffer for her child’s sake? For Jonathan’s sake, David was willing to bless the house of Saul. For Christ’s sake we are to-
I. Forgive. "Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you" (Eph_4:32). God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven us, so we for Christ’s sake are to forgive others, even until seventy times seven (Mat_18:21-22). It is so Christ-like to have compassion and pity, and a heart ready to bless and forgive (see Col_3:12-13). For His sake we are to-
II. Serve One Another. "Ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake" (2Co_4:5). The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life; so he that will be chief among the followers of Christ will be the servant of all Paul gloried in this, that he "made himself servant unto all, that he might gain the more" (1Co_9:19). The service of each member, when done for "Christ’s sake," is done for the good of the whole body, not otherwise. Men-pleasers add nothing to the perfecting of the Body of Christ. For His sake we are to be-
III. Always Delivered unto Death. "We which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our mortal flesh" (2Co_4:11). For His sake self is to be continually surrendered unto death, "Killed all the day long," that the life of the now glorified Jesus might be manifested in us. Only those save their lives who lose them for His sake (Mat_10:39). The seemingly painful and deathlike gloom of such an experience may cause some to fear this entire abandonment of self unto death; but dying for His sake is the way into the liberty and power of His risen life. For Christ’s sake the martyrs faced the sword, the flaming fagots, and the floods, and entered into rest. If we suffer for Him, we shall also reign with Him. The muffled cry of the Christ-despising is still, "Save thyself and come down from the Cross." Let our answer be, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ." For Christ’s sake we should-
IV. Take Pleasure in Afflictions. "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2Co_12:10). Wherever Christ is, there is salvation and the restfulness of Heaven; therefore bring Him into all your "infirmities," "reproaches," "necessities," "persecutions," and "distresses." This is part of our inheritance in Christ, for "it is given unto us, not only to believe, but also to suffer for His sake" (Php_1:29) For His sake we are to-
V. Strive Together in Prayer. "I beseech you brethren for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake… that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me" (Rom_15:30). As Christians we may differ in many things, but surely we may all agree in this, that for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake we will pray for one another. Yes, there are sharp and ugly crooks in some disciples’ characters, but for His sake we ought to strive together in prayer. The full depth of the possibilities of prayer has never yet been fathomed. For His sake we must also-
VI. Labour Patiently. "I know…..thou hast borne, and hast patience, and for My Name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted" (Rev_2:3). A fitful worker is as untrustworthy as a fitful lover. It is easy to lose patience, and to faint when the labour is not directly "for His Name’s sake." The secret of perseverance and victory lies in doing all as unto Him. The work given us to do is His work, and must be done in His Name, and for His sake. Therefore, for His sake labour patiently for the salvation of the lost, and the sanctification of the saved. "Consider Him…lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
"I will not work my soul to save;
That my Lord hath done,
But I will work like any slave
For the sake of God’s dear Son."
Moreover, we must be willing for His sake to be-
VII. Counted Fools. "We are fools for Christ’s sake" (1Co_4:10). In the eyes of the world a fool is one who, perhaps through mental weakness, is incapable of entering into the business and pleasures that engross the multitude, and whose mind is occupied, perchance, with some trivial, worthless thing; or he is a man with a strong self-will that is constantly leading him into difficulties and disappointments. Those who are fools for Christ have a business, and pleasures, and prospects, that Christless eyes have never seen. Fools, because they hold lightly the material, and grasp with firm hand the eternal. The things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man (1Co_2:14). To die to live, is wiser than to die to be lost.
Autor: James Smith