Philippians 1:21 – “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” NASU
There is a song “What Am I Living For” that comes to mind and the questions the singer asks are: “What Am I Living for if not for you?” It then declares that nobody else will do and the object of affection is the total focus and desire. I ask that regarding our spiritual lives? What are we living for if not for Christ? What are we long for if not for Christ? If anything else will do then I would suggest that our lives come up short of the prize that God has set before us.
Steven J. Cole wrote in a blog post in 2013 asking my question and related a story from English history and lore. It seems that a young man came to W.E. Gladstone when he was Prime Minister of England and said, “Mr. Gladstone, I would appreciate your giving me a few minutes in which I might lay before you my plans for the future. I would like to study law.” “Yes,” said the great statesman, “and then what?” “Then, sir, I would like to gain entrance to the Bar of England.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” “Then, sir, I hope to have a place in Parliament, in the House of Lords.” “Yes, young man, what then?” pressed Gladstone. “Then I hope to do great things for Britain.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” “Then, sir, I hope to retire and take life easy.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” he tenaciously asked. “Well, then, Mr. Gladstone, I suppose I will die.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” The young man hesitated and then said, “I never thought any further than that, sir.” Looking at the young man sternly and steadily, Gladstone said, “Young man, you are a fool. Go home and think life through!” (Told by Leonard Griffith, This is Living [Abingdon Press], pp. 48, 49.)
What are we living for? How much thought have you given to your life? The past, present, future, and eternity must be brought into focus. Paul addresses this issue in the text above saying, “to live is Christ…” I am living to LIVE CHRIST! I am living to MANIFEST CHRIST! I am living to be an EPISTLE KNOWN AND READ OF MEN! My focus is Christ! My hope is Christ! My life is Christ! For in Him I live and move and have being!
If I am living primarily for me my focus is wrong. If I am living primarily to have financial success my focus is wrong. If I am living to advance a particular cause my focus is wrong. Jesus instructed us in Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” NASU If I have God first in my life and am actively and diligently seeking Him then He will care for all else in my life. I am LIVING TO LIVE CHRIST!
I do not want to be remembered for my activism, my speaking or writing, my accomplishments in life (whatever they might be). I want to be remembered for LIVING CHRIST! I want to be remembered as one who manifested and demonstrated Christ in my words and deeds. I do not care if anyone remembers my name so long as they remember the Christ of and in my life.
May God be with you as you go through your day! I encourage you to begin LIVING CHRIST! Blessings!