July 15, 2020
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21
I want to ask you a question today: how much living are you willing to sacrifice in order to preserve your life? The first time I really thought about this question was when I began riding motorcycles. People had all different opinions. Some would say, “I would never ride a motorcycle, it’s too dangerous.” Others, like me, would say, “I would never ride a motorcycle without a helmet. It’s too dangerous.” And still others would have no reservations about taking off with the wind blowing through their hair. It came down to how much each was willing to give up in order to live as long as possible. Even if you’ve never consciously asked yourself this question, you have answered it already with your actions throughout the years. We all know that there are extremes to this; those who would live a completely reckless life and those who would live in a bubble. But where do you fall on the continuum? I think the COVID-19 pandemic has made each of us stop and ask this question more than ever before. How much are you willing to give up the things that bring you joy, the people you love, and the freedoms you have in order to preserve your life as long as possible?
As Christians this question is even more important because the stakes are much higher. Our time on earth has much greater purpose. For us, to live is Christ. Our purpose here on earth is for Jesus to shine through every aspect of our lives. I think we have all been guilty of sacrificing that purpose to simply preserve comfort. So how easily will we sacrifice that purpose to preserve our life? How quickly will we set it on a shelf for a while in order to preserve our time in these bodies? Our biggest concern should never be avoiding death, it should be living for Christ. Christ died for us so that we have the freedom to live for him (2 Corinthians 5:15)…so much so that I have been crucified with Christ and Christ now lives through me (Galatians 2:20). You see, the Christian should never have to ask the question of whether or not we fear death, because we have already died. And once we truly take hold of this, only then do we truly live. Jesus said it best; “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
Father forgive us for the times when we have forsaken Your calling in our lives. Fill us with the truth that You have died for us so that we might live for You, and let that truth be the one and only foundation for our daily decisions.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon