What are You Living For?
By Jay Hardwick
What are you living for? What is the driving purpose of your life? The purpose of your life determines the direction of your life. If your purpose is wrong, then the direction of your life is going to be wrong. If your purpose is vague or fuzzy, then the direction of your life is going to be vague and fuzzy. If there is no purpose to your life—if you've never even thought why you are here and what you are living for—then the direction of your life is going to blow with the wind.
What if there is a way for you to live a life that is full of purpose? What if there was a way to live where you could know that you’re living for the one thing that will matter now and a billion years from now? Would you be interested?
Read Philippians 1:18-26. In this passage, Paul gives us this famous line: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul is in chains in a Roman prison, and he is saying: “Don’t worry about me because however many days I have left to live, Christ will be exalted. But, even if this is the last time you hear from me, and today is my last day, then Christ will be exalted in my death.”
How can we have such confidence? How can we have such purpose? Every day that we have breath, we should live to honor Christ. That is our desire and our purpose.
Through Paul’s testimony in verses 18 through 20, we learn how we can honor Christ by:
1. Rejoicing in Him consistently.
Rejoicing in the midst of your suffering greatly honors Christ. It makes no sense to the world—it sometimes even makes no sense to you when you’re in the midst of it—but there is a joy that comes in relationship with Christ that transcends all of our suffering.
2. Relying on Him constantly.
In verse 19, Paul lays his reliance squarely on Jesus. How do you live in the midst of captivity with joy today? It is through the power of Christ. How are you able to say to live is Christ, but to die is gain? It is through the power of Christ. Where does that power come from? It comes from prayer and through God’s Word.
3. Representing Him courageously.
In verse 20, Paul says that he will not be ashamed or hold back, but with courage he would honor Christ, in life or death. What Paul is saying here is the key to understanding what it means to live as Christ. Paul was way less concerned about his reputation than he was concerned about Jesus’ reputation. Paul wasn't living his life for his own glory. He was living his life for the glory of Jesus and that is the key to a life of courage, that we care more about Jesus' glory than our own.
Trust Jesus as Savior and God; His grace is sufficient. Get in His Word and pray. Pursue Him every day. You can't live a nanosecond apart from His power and say to live is Christ, but to die is gain. Then lastly, share Christ. Share boldly, share courageously the One who has given you this life.
Jay Hardwick is the associate executive director and chief strategist with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and is a guest speaker at LowCountry Community Church.