TO LIVE TO DIE

As a believer I’ve not always lived for Christ. But, when the Holy Spirit—God— awakened me to my life of sin; I started my journey as a Christ-follower. I began to internalize the grace of God by my Savior—Jesus—who appeased the wrath of God by dying on a cross for my sin, guilt, and shame and thus making me right with Him. From the moment I was born again I began to live for Christ. He became my one pearl of great price. I value Him so much that I am willing to part with all I have. Jesus has so completely won my heart that it only beats for Him. He is the pattern for my life. I live to bring Him glory. To die for the gospel would be my highest honor. Jesus, the Word, is the One who has forged my character. Yet, frequently I fall short because of some of the situations I find myself in. Can you identify?

In Philippians 1:21 the apostle Paul, who is in prison and chained to Roman guards around the clock, makes this statement, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Paul is saying Christ was his life. Can you say that? This statement is a valuable test for your life. “For to me to live is                                           and to die is                        ? You fill in the blanks yourself. 

It has been said that, “Life is what you are alive to.” The thing that excites us and “turns us on” is the thing that really is “life” to us. Would your answer be:
 
*        “For to me to live is power and to die is to lose it.”

*        “For to me to live is wealth and to die is to leave it behind.”

*        “For to me to live is popularity and to die is to be forgotten.”

We must echo Paul’s sentence if we are going to have joy in spite of our circumstances. Like Paul, Jesus should be your heart and soul, your very breath, your life! As a professing Christian can you say that you live up to this statement? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? 

Many are the church-going, hand-clapping, people-hugging, praise-pointing, plate-passing, sermon-sitting, well-meaning believers, who, if we were truly honest about it, are living for another and committing spiritual adultery. We all carry out Paul’s principle in some measure but who among us would dare say they have lived wholly for Christ as this apostle did? Nevertheless, the source, substance, style, and end of the true Christian life is assembled together in one word—Jesus.

Lord, forgive me. I here now present myself asking to live only in You and for You. Lord, accept me now to work or be sacrificed for You. May I be ready for either.

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