Hebrews 9:15 Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God. (The Message Bible)
One of the things I always felt was important in life is to distinguish between ends and means (as in the ends justify the means). Is something what we really want or is it just a way of getting something else? They say love is its own reward. Is it? Do we really want to be people who care about others for their own sake or do we do it to get love, or what we think of as love, back? Or are we kind so that we will be thought better than those “others” who are not quite as kind? The fact that we can so rarely be selfless is one of the indications of sin in the human race. The above passage states that Jesus offered himself for us. Pretty rare, indeed! And that he did not do so to get anything back but so that “we can live all out for God” as we were always intended to. Living for God is the end; Christ’s offering is the means. Eugene Peterson, who made the Message translation I often quote, died a few weeks ago. I guess he has a better understanding now of what these words mean. In the end, it is the ends that matter. This week, what are your means to what ends? Where does living all out for God fit in?