“For me to live is _____________”?
“For me to live is _______________”? If you filled in that blank, what would you put there? It is actually quite easy to determine. Ask yourself… what do I think about most of the time? What subject seems to capture my attention more than any other? What fascinates me? What do I dream about? Wish for? Hope for? Live for? Is it… money, success, happiness, fishing, hunting, a home, a car, a career, a family?
For years I loved baseball. I still do. Growing up I played it a lot. I even dreamed about playing baseball. But what happens when you can’t hit a curve ball and your “dream” is quickly cut short? Our son played baseball too. Seth loves baseball. Go figure! It’s a great game. But what happens when he blows an arm out at nineteen years old? These are reminders that “For me to live is baseball? is completely futile. It’s actually quite a silly thing to live for because, as many people have said many times, “There are no promises in baseball!” That is true with many things in life.
Thankfully, there is ONLY ONE thing-I should say ONLY ONE PERSON-that you can and should write in that blank. When the Apostle Paul was under house arrest for preaching Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit inspired him to write these words, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” Philippians 1:21
While in prison, he had no idea if he was going to live or die, but Paul was not worried in the least because he was certain that through “…the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19). Paul could write with such confidence because he had placed all of his faith, his purpose, his whole life in the finished work of Christ and not his own work. This meant his identity was…IN Christ! He knew he would be saved; he knew he would be safe! It was very evident to anyone who spent time with Paul or read any of his letters or listened to any of his messages, that he constantly focused on the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross, dying to pay the price for our sins, rising from the grave, defeating death and offering forgiveness from sin. It was, and is, no secret…Paul loved Christ…Paul lived Christ.
Today, these words “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” are not only an example but also instruction for us to live with the same hope, assurance and joy that Paul lived with. So today, I invite you to carefully ask and consider what or who is your identity in? Is it Jesus…or baseball…or something else? Be assured from now on…I’m sticking with Jesus.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Senior Rev Timothy J. Boger of Big Woods Bible Church, Lock Haven.