You might have heard the latest Matt Redman album “Beautiful News”. On it there is a song “If you know you are loved by the King” which has a line in the chorus “If you know you are loved by the King, then live for him, live for him, live for him.” As Christians we know we are loved by the King – (the Bible tells us in many places, the most obvious example being John 3v16) – but do we always let that knowledge overflow into living for him, and what does it actually mean to live for the King?
Living for the King doesn’t mean living to please Him through devoting yourself to hours of prayer or Bible study. It doesn’t mean singing as loud as you can at a worship session. It doesn’t mean having superior Bible knowledge to everyone else in your YF. It means being a Romans 12 “living sacrifice”, really loving people with genuine affection, hating what is wrong, standing on the side of the good, taking delight in honouring others, not being lazy and serving God enthusiastically. It means being patient during times of trouble, being the one to help out those in need, inviting people for dinner or a coffee, praying that God will bless your enemies, sharing in people’s joy and sorrow. It means living in harmony with everyone where possible, not thinking of yourself as above people, and not acting as if you know it all. [paraphrase Romans 12] That is what it means to live for the King, and just think of the difference it would make to the people in your town, your school/uni or even just your street if you lived that all out!
When I read my Bible I have a highlighter that I use to highlight some of the verses that particularly resonate with me at that moment. Flicking through the New Testament earlier, looking over some of my highlighted verses, one particular theme kept leaping out, summed up by Galatians 6v9-10: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” [emphasis added]
There are several key points in that verse. First of all, if we want to reap a harvest of blessing (and if we don’t there should be serious questions asked about our faith!) we need to have persistence. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to be easy. There are going to be obstacles to overcome. But the end result will be more than worth it.
Secondly we need to do good to everyone. We can’t be exclusive. Jesus wasn’t when he died on the cross (“For God so loved the world” – not certain worthy individuals). If we are living for the King we need to follow His example, and love all, whether we think they deserve it our not. Who are we to judge? Have all not sinned?
Lastly “whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone”. See the thing is we won’t always have the opportunity. One day either we will die or Jesus will return and we will go to heaven. And there there will be no-one in need of our help. No-one in need of charity. No sick for us to care for. No hungry for us to feed. No naked for us to clothe. No prisoners for us to visit. So we’d best get busy now, while we still have the chance, for we don’t know when the opportunities will be good. In the words of the Delirious song Give what you’ve got, “We’re gonna give it all we got coz we’ve only got one life.” Give it all you’ve got this week and live for the King!