What really gets you moving in life? What drives you? What gives your life purpose or a sense of meaning, raising it above the level of mere existence? The truth is we don’t want our lives to just be some blip on the screen, do we? We don’t want to be just another statistic. We want our lives to matter. If you were to sum up what you live for in one word, what would it be? Pleasures. Possessions. Knowledge. Fame.
The apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ.” That was pretty much his motto and I believe the motto of everyone in the first century church. And that should be our motto as well.
- When you live for Christ, you will accept God’s will for your life. Paul went to Roman to preach, but ended up under house arrest. Paul understood that God had His hand in it. In Philippians 1:12 he says, that those things that happened to him turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. Did it occur to you that you are where you are because God wants you there right now to reach that unsaved person, or reach that group of people with the gospel?
- When you live for Christ, you will be a person of prayer. What should we pray for when we pray for fellow believers? The answer is in Philippians 1:9, where Paul is praying that believers would grow in both love and discernment. Some people seem to be very discerning but not very loving. And some can be very loving and not very discerning, accepting everything and everyone. But we must be both discerning and growing in love.
- When you live for Christ, you will not be afraid to die. Only the person who says, “To live is Christ” can say, “To die is gain.” The word that Paul uses here for departing, when he says I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, is translated multiple ways. One way it is translated is to “strike the tent.” It was a term used to describe what soldiers did when it was time to leave. Departure is also translated here as being released from shackles, or untying a boat from its mooring. Paul’s desire was to be with Christ.
- When you live for Christ, one day you will be with Him in Heaven. In verse 23 Paul is saying, “I want to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” That’s a strong superlative form that Paul uses which means far, far, far better, or much, much better. He is saying it’s way better than what we have here. The moment you take your last breath on earth, you take your first breath in Heaven. And it’s better because it is immediate, we depart into the presence of Christ, and all our questions are answered.
- Life passes by quickly. Before you know it, a good deal of your life is behind you instead of before you. Make sure you are not living for nothing.
- Living for things is a dead-end street. But when you live for God, He will do everything He promised for you.
What do you live for? If you say, “To live is money” then for you one day to die is to leave it all behind. If you say, “To live is fame,” then for you to die is to be forgotten. If you say, “To live is power” then for you to die will be to lose it all. But if you say, “To live is Christ,” then you can also say, “To die is gain.” When you live for Christ, it’s a win-win. Why? Because you have Heaven, guaranteed absolute Heaven. Jesus wants to give you a happy, fulfilled, joyful, purposeful, meaningful life on planet Earth, and then the absolute assurance that there is an afterlife for you in His presence forever in Heaven.