For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Stuff your rucksack with just any old thing before you set off, and you will run into trouble. The same is true with life.
Like with a rucksack, there is just so much space in our life. There are only so many hours in a day, and only a certain amount of opportunity and energy available to us. How we will use them is determined by our intention.
If we intend to head off on a fishing trip, there are certain items we will want with us. If we are going on a vacation with our family to the mountains, we will select other items. Deployment will require a different selection of items.
If our mission in life is to make as much money as possible, we will make sure that our life contains a large amount of what is needed to make that happen. If we decide that we want to simply have as much fun as possible, we will put a lot of fun-enabling things into our life.
A Christian has a different focus, a different mission in life. There is an array of responsibilities the average Christian must tend to. Multitasking is a part of life. But, there is always a primary task. Something is always more important than anything else in life. For the Christian, serving the Savior is Job #1.
Sad is the person who believes that he is equipped for a task, only to discover he is not.
In WWII some American troops had prepared to deploy to the South Pacific, only to be sent to Germany during one of the coldest Decembers on record. They went into the Battle of the Bulge with summer clothing. They paid the price.
Service to the Savior requires having the right equipment—and knowing how to use it. The person who thinks that this assignment will be a cakewalk or a side job will discover that he is not prepared for the successful outcome to his mission. In fact, he will be in grave danger. He may lose his life—his eternal life.
The apostle Paul reminds us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Then he names some things that should be part of our life, and adds: “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith…Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:12,16,17)
Paul’s life was all about Christ. But, human life is short. What would he have when his breath failed him, and he became one of the fallen? He knew the answer.
He writes, “And to die is gain.”
It makes us give thought to what stuff is packed into our own lives. It makes us wonder if there is any room left for what is absolutely vital to eternal success and survival. Just how much space did we leave for Christ and his Word, and his work?
And, shouldn’t we get rid of some of the other stuff?
Saturday night worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am