A rather odd occurrence has happened in our county (Berks County, PA). In the span of less than four weeks two evangelical pastors have been involved in fatal motorcycle accidents, one killing the pastor the other killing the pastor’s wife and leaving the pastor in critical condition. Many people are asking hard questions – questions that don’t have easy answers. It was the topic of conversation among the tellers when I stopped at the bank this morning.
As Christians we often turn to the words of the Apostle Paul in times of tragedy; if I live, it will be for Christ, and if I die, I will gain even more. I don’t know what to choose. I could keep on living and doing something useful. It is a hard choice to make. I want to die and be with Christ, because that would be much better (Philippians 1:21-23). We find comfort that our loved one is in a far better place. And that is a profound truth.
But it’s easy to miss the emphasis of the Apostle in this passage – if I live, it will be for Christ. His point is living, not dying. For me to live is Christ! Yes, dying brings us into a better place, a better relationship, a better future. But before death is life and God wants us to know how to live.
At the moment it seemed like coincident. Early this morning I received word of one of the accidents that had taken place last night. On my way into the church I turned on my radio hoping to get more information. As I searched the dial landed on a Christian radio station so I listened because the pastor was preaching from this exact text. At the end of his sermon he challenged his listeners to complete this sentence: For me to live is ________________.
It would be a good exercise for all of us to fill in the blank.
For me to live is retirement
For me to live is my children
For me to live is the weekend
For me to live is golf
For me to live is my portfolio
What is life for you?
The question that every one of us has to answer is; What are you living for? What is the point of your life? Most things that people live for are not wrong but they should not be the essence of your life as a Christian.
For the Christian there is only one answer that completes the sentence: For me to live is Christ! He has to be first. He has to be the focus. He has to be that which supersedes everything else. It has to be Christ.
To live life for anything less is to waste the most valuable part of life.
Stay in the Word