We have all heard the phrase “living large” used to describe someone living an extravagant or self-indulgent lifestyle. The phrase is often applied to someone who recently won the lottery or experienced some other financial windfall.
But for the believer, “living large” has nothing to do with worldly wealth or self-indulgent pleasure. Christians who are living large are those who are living for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the expansion of His kingdom. Recall our Lord’s words from the Sermon on the Mount:
Do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
When Jesus holds first place in our lives, we truly are living large, because we are living for Jesus—and there is nothing larger in life than living for our Lord. The problem is that we live in a world that has been possessed by its possessions. Many of us have bought into the lie that seeking “stuff” can seem functionally more life-giving than seeking our Savior.
We are so easily satisfied by things that are smaller than Jesus! We find ourselves “living little,” focusing on the expansion of our own little kingdoms. Countless “little things” can seem more life-giving than living for the Lord, but their promise of life leads only to a slow and agonizing death. They can never and will never do for us what only Jesus can do.
C.S. Lewis said it beautifully in The Weight of Glory:
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.
This was the essence of Satan’s promise to Adam and Eve who had been living large in a garden paradise. You and I can only imagine the beauty and perfection. Yet our first parents quickly flung all that aside to squat in a mud puddle. Satan promised them “more” life apart from God; they quickly found out that Satan is a cruel, deceitful slumlord. He never has been able to deliver on his promises and he never will.
There is no investment in this life as poor as investing in the expansion of the kingdom of self. If you and I are going to live large, we must pursue God’s will for our lives instead of our own will. It is there—when we are seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness—where we find meaning and significance . . . peace and security . . . purpose and passion. This is how we live a life that truly matters. This is the place where we expand the borders of our lives to fill the borders of the Kingdom of God, and that, beloved, is living large!
When Jesus told us to seek His kingdom first, He was telling us that the life God designed us to live is a life rooted in Christ. Living for Christ must not be an add-on or an afterthought. Jesus is to be on the throne of our personal lives . . . our professional lives . . . in every area of our lives. He deserves that place and will tolerate no rival—nor should He.
Make this year a year of living large, and you will not miss the one thing you were made for: Christ!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!