8/22/16

to live is Christ

Paul wrote that to live is Christ & to die is gain. What was he saying? Very simply that in all things Christ remains. If he lives, he lives for Christ. If he dies, he goes to be with Christ. 

Tony Merida & Francis Chan explained this further in their exposition of the book of Philippians. They said you can fill in your blank for what living is.

Living is...
beauty,
popularity,
romance,
money,
power.

To finish this concept you must decide what dying would be, in light of these answers.

Dying is...
losing your beauty, 
being lonely, being unliked,
singleness,
being broke,
having no power.

For Paul, though, the answer remained the same: living is Christ, dying is Christ. For believers our answers should also remain the same. 

What does it mean, then, to live for Christ? In general and in the specifics---in this season & this place.

To know that God is sovereign & to know that the purpose of our lives is to love & glorify God forever means that we each have unique ways we can fulfill our purpose because God has sovereignly given us these unique positions, personalities, desires, talents.

So I assess, you assess, we as the church must assess how we can live for Christ in this season & this place. How can we live for Christ in regard to our neighbors? Our co-workers? The struggling, single mom we know? The irritating & loud person we avoid... but should we? In regard to the vulnerable teenager in our life who is looking for affirmation in every area of their life... just like you once were, remember?

As a church how can live for Christ in light of the refugee crisis? With our money? With how we speak & feel about the presidential election?        

We must assess how to live for Christ with our home, with our time, with our gifts, & with our relationships.

John Piper so clearly said this in an old sermon: "“For me to live is Christ!” But very specifically that must mean: “For me to live is Christ’s mission.” “As the Father has sent me,” Jesus said, “so send I you.”
In 1982 my life must be Christ, and that means, “Christ for others.” If I am not Christ for others, I am not Christ at all. If I can really say, “It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me,” then I must live for others. There is only one kind of Christ who lives, and that is the Christ for others. If he is alive in me, he will be alive for others. I am hungry. I am thirsty to let this Christ go from our midst. Christ the Tiger. Christ, the all-night pray-er. Christ the seeking shepherd. Christ the toucher of lepers. Christ the unanswerable witness."

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