This last weekend, the youth group and several members of the congregation went on a retreat. The theme was from Philippians 1, “To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain” and our goal was to focus on what it truly means to live for Christ every day. We had some great lessons and group discissions that I believe were effective, I know they were for me. One particular lesson has stuck with me, and I would like to share it.
Our teacher had us write in our notes these two statements from Paul and it looked like this:
For me to live is ___________.
For me to die is ___________.
We left these blanks because we weren’t just quoting Paul, but applying Paul’s statement to our own lives. What is it that consumes our time, thoughts, and ultimately, our lives? Anything that goes in the first blank other than Christ will have one result in our bottom blank, and that is loss.
We can’t live for our families, boyfriends/girlfriends, ourselves, sports, school, even church-based jobs, etc., and the end result in death be gain. Yes, these things are here for us to enjoy, but they shouldn’t be the reason we live. Paul tells us the reason for him to live, is to plant, water, and cultivate the message and glory of Christ. That should be our goal. When we live our lives for Christ we know what death has in store for us, which is the ultimate gain, eternal life with God.
So, I ask you this week to take this bulletin home and study your life. Read Paul’s message in context and put yourself in his position. Be honest with yourself and write in these blanks what consumes your mind, thoughts, heart, and time and put it in that first blank. Anything other than Christ results in loss, not gain.