Why do you exist? Why do you do what you do? How do you account for your life and behavior and the that choices you make throughout the course of a day? My answer to those questions, and I hope yours as well, is that it’s all for His name’s sake.
In His letter to the church at Ephesus, Jesus commended the believers there for “enduring patiently and bearing up for My Name’s sake” (Rev. 2:3). People all over the world endure pain for many different reasons, some of which are noble and others not. Some persevere pain for profit and others to receive compassion for themselves. But Jesus makes it clear that, for the Christian, endurance under oppression is never an end in itself. Suffering for suffering’s sake is stupid, if not a sign that something is wrong with you mentally. Jesus commends the Ephesian believers because their motivation was for the declaration of the name of Christ. Or to say it another way, they endured suffering in order to make Christ known, especially to their persecutors. Jesus was a treasure of far greater worth than whatever physical or financial comfort their denial of Him might bring.
This same passion to see and love Jesus alone accounted for Paul’s unqualified and otherwise unexplainable decision to turn his back on his earthly achievements: “whatever gain I had,” said Paul, “I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil. 3:7-9). Do you see it? It was for His sake, as it also was for the Ephesians.
In the case of the Ephesians, undoubtedly some suffered unto death while others experienced the blessing of deliverance. In both cases it was “for His name’s sake.” In both outcomes, Jesus is treasured above everything and is magnified above all.
That is why you and I exist. We exist for His name’s sake. This should be the reason that all believers exist. It is why we serve and suffer; it is why we live and love; it is why we study God’s Word and make it known; it is why we sing and worship; it is why we give and go. It’s all for His name’s sake. That’s why we exist.
If you know Christ, that’s why you exist. That’s why you serve. May all that we ask, do, or think be for His name’s sake.