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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Learning to Give My Life Away

In review of Philippians 1:21 it says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Bottom Line:
Living means living for Christ, and dying is even better, you’ll be with him.

What this means to me:
Living gives me a chance to serve Christ and point others towards him, dying means being with Christ, which in the end is even better.

In Philippians 1:20-26 I’m shown an example of how Paul lived his life for Christ. At this point Paul was close to the end of his life. Paul heart was for his life to be benefit to others. For living means living for Christ and the purpose Christ gave us. Dying meant that Paul would then be with Christ, which in the long run is even better for him and us.  However in continuing to live, Paul was able to continue to give his life for the benefit of training and building into others.

What I’m learning is that happiness in my life comes from when I can serve and make a difference to others. In essence I’m giving my life away. I can honestly say that I have had more joy in serving than anything I’ve ever done for self-gratification. This desire for serving comes from a position of self-sacrifice.

In addition Paul was onto something.  He knew that to be happy, he had to stay focused on his purpose and not his problems. He summed up his purpose in Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (NIV).

So today, I’m prompted to think, what word would I use to fill in the blank, “For me to live is ______.”  Nothing deserves the place of the One who created me and gave me life: Jesus Christ.

It seems that how I’d fill in the blank will determine how happy I am in my life.  Living for money, success, pleasure or power will not bring overall happiness for my life. While there’s nothing wrong with those things; they just don’t deserve first place. I’m learning that God has a far greater purpose for my life. There is only one real answer that leads to happiness: to live is Christ. Therefore, I should give my life away in service to Christ and to making a difference in the lives of others.

Today I pray this: “Dear Jesus, you know that I often let circumstances determine my happiness. You know that I often allow the killjoys of pain and problems and pressures and picky people to rob my happiness. Help me to look at every problem in my life from your viewpoint. I want to handle problems in a way that is a witness to nonbelievers and an encouragement to believers. Help me to remember that what others say and do does not control my happiness unless I allow it. And as for the things that happen that I don’t understand or can’t figure out, I want to trust you to work it all out for good. Help me to stay focused on your purpose for my life and not my problems.  I want to use the rest of my life to serve you by serving others. Use me, Lord, so I have a purpose for living and for dying. From this day on, for me to live is Christ. In your name I pray. Amen.”

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