Friday, February 25, 2011

Whom Are You Living For? - Part 2

As promised.

So now we must look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s word and answer the question, “Whom am I living for? At home, at work, at school and at church, Whom am I living for?” And if the answer is anyone or anything other than Jesus, we must repent and ask God to give us a heart for Him, a desire to see His Name and His fame spread, and the strength and courage to go out and show Him to our community. 

Do you notice that in this passage Paul’s desire is not at all man-centered? While it is man-ward it is completely Christ-centered. Let’s continue reading.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Please, don’t miss that last line. “So that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.” In other words, Paul is saying, though I would rather die and thereby gain Christ, for He is my treasure, I’m convinced that, because it would grow you more and give you more joy, thereby causing you to glory in Christ all the more, I will remain and continue with you all. To strip it further, Paul is saying, I would rather die and be with Christ, my treasure, but I know that He will get more glory for Himself if I stay, so if that is His plan, that is what I will do. Again, does your heart beat that way? Would you rather sacrifice your greatest want, greatest desire, if it means that Christ would be more glorified in you? Whom are you living for?

Now, what does this look like lived out. Well, if Christ is truly our treasure then we will seek to know Him more, through His word, through prayer and meditation, and through corporate and private worship. Hereby, we love our God with all our heart, soul and mind. But how do we love God with all our strength? I believe we do that by living out the second part of the Great Commandment - and love your neighbor as yourself. The amazing thing about God’s plan is that when we do the latter, we do the former. As we go into the world and love our neighbors in real, tangible ways, we are loving God with all our strength. God is being glorified and people are being ministered to. It’s a win, win. Scripture says that even when we are reviled for Christ’s sake, we win and God is glorified. The only time we lose is when we fail to go and obey our Master’s command. Let is be obvious to everyone we meet that the answer to the question, “Whom are you living for,” is unmistakably, “for me to live is Christ.”

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