Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). No other Thoughts to Ponder has received as much response as one I wrote a couple of years ago entitled, “Time and Eternity.” The basis for that article was Paul’s admonishment in Ephesians 5:15-17: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” I want to consider the subject of time and eternity again from a different perspective. I want to consider the gift of life and what we do with that gift.
Like time, life is a gift. In fact, life, in a sense, is an economic instrument within time. In other words, we can either spend our lives or invest them. We can either do with it as we desire or we can pour it out for Christ. Consider the words of Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” What did he mean by those words? To put it simply, he means we are to seek to pour out our lives so that we will magnify Christ in both life and death. Paul was a man who had singleness of purpose – to so magnify Christ in his life and death that others would be swept into the kingdom. He sought to proclaim Christ where Christ was not known.
Are you pouring out your life for Christ or are you spending it on yourself? Consider these two true stories from “Don’t Waste Your Life,” by John Piper: In April 2000, two missionaries, Ruby Eliason and Laura Edwards were killed in Cameroon, West Africa. Ruby was over eighty and Laura was pushing eighty. They were both medical doctors. One was single all her life, the other a widow. They both lived for one great thing: to pour it out in order to make Jesus Christ known. The brakes failed, the car went over a cliff, and they both were killed instantly. Then there is the story of a couple in the northeast who took early retirement from their jobs. He was 59, she was 51. Now they live in Florida, where they sail on their 30-foot yacht, play softball and collect shells. Now I ask you to consider which one of these two stories is a tragedy. Which one of these two stories is an example of pouring it out for Christ? Can you imagine getting all the way to the great Day of Judgment only to say, “Look, Lord. Isn’t my shell collection impressive?”
For whom are you living? I would encourage you to consider again the words of Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Think about pouring your life out in such a way so as to magnify Jesus Christ in both your life and in your death. I remember when I was a child three of my friends from church made decisions to be missionaries. In recent years, after much prayer and wrestling with God, I have made the same decision. I was thinking about those three individuals recently. None of them are missionaries. In fact, as far as I can recall, none made any effort to even pursue such a calling. One married and moved away. One is living in grievous sin. One I have no idea about other than he’s not a missionary. Maybe you’re in a similar situation. You felt the call of God to go and proclaim Christ among the unreached only to allow the demands of life to distract you. Well, let me remind you of two things: (1) “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” and (2) “Make the most of your time.” We do not know how long we have left on this big blue ball in space. In fact, we don’t even have the promise of tomorrow. We only have today. Some reading this article have lived most of their lives, others have only just begun. Only God knows how much time each of us has left. Therefore, I encourage you to invest your life rather than spend it – to pour it out for Christ!
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
Click on the image to learn more
Striving to glorify God by becoming more like Jesus.
Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.