Monday, April 23, 2007

For Me To Live is Christ!


I am currently preaching through Philippians. It is a great book. In chapter one, we see Christ is our life, in chapter two Christ is our mind, in chapter three Christ is our goal, and in chapter four Christ is our strength! Of the 103 verses, Jesus is mentioned over 70 times! He truly is the theme of this epistle.

This last Sunday, I preached in chapter one verses 12-30. (Please read those verses.) Here are some thoughts from the message:

Within our text, we have a very powerful statement, which sums up the entire reading, or even the entire epistle. The statement says, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The Apostle Paul truly lived this. In the previous verse, verse 20, we see Paul’s purpose for his life, which led to this statement. Paul’s purpose was that in whatever he did, or whatever happened to him, he would magnify Jesus Christ. If we have this same purpose in our life, we too will be able to say “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The only way you will be able to say this is if the truth of verse 20 is true in your life.

Now, before we look at this purpose in Paul’s life, I would like to ask you, what is the purpose for your life? What is it that you live for? Some live life without purpose and this is a waste. They simply live for whatever the day brings, without any real direction to their life. Many today are hedonistic. They live for pleasure. Their sole purpose is to do whatever pleases them. They live for sex, money, bigger houses, boats, cars, etc… This too is a wasted life, which is vanity (Ecclesiastes). Some live for pride, to build a name for themselves. This too is vanity. For the Christian our purpose is to be that same as the Apostle Paul’s. Even in our text (verses 27-30) we see Paul’s life purpose was to be the purpose for all those who named Christ.

Consider Paul's circumstances. Paul was in prison and more than likely had a guard chained to him 24/7. Other preachers were talking bad about him. Some preachers were trying to elevate themselves, since Paul was in prison (12-18). Yet, Paul shows no bitterness, no anger, no malice, and no disappointment! Within the text, we see he is filled with Joy! Why? How? You see his life’s purpose truly was to magnify/glorify Jesus Christ. As long as this was being accomplished, he had joy. Why? Because magnifying Christ truly was his life’s purpose. Let's look at verses 20,21 and think on these words in relation to Paul’s current situation:

Philippians 1:20,21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.



That Christ would be magnified was his life’s purpose! (To magnify here means to make bigger, glorify, honor, or to increase.) Thus, as long as Christ was being magnified, as a result of his life, he was willing to endure hardness, to suffer, to endure persecution, etc… What is it that you live for? What is your purpose in life? What are you willing to suffer for? What are you willing to endure for? Many will work 80 hours a week to buy that new car or boat. They will endure the long hours to fulfill their pleasure. What are you willing to endure for Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ your purpose in life?

When your purpose in life is to magnify Christ you learn:
1) To have joy in suffering.
2) Christ name means more than your name.
3) Christ’s ministry is more important than “your” ministry.
4) Life is about God!

Today, as we see the purpose in Paul’s life, you need to ask yourself, if Paul’s purpose is your purpose for your life, if this is what you are living for. Magnifying Jesus Christ, is the only purpsoe that matters on this earth. There is no other purpose that can be compared to it. I would like for all of us to determine to make this purpose of glorify Christ our life’s purpose. That we too can say with all boldness, “for me to live Christ and to die is gain.”

6 comments:

Cindy said...

This is such a wonderful post and has given me a true Blessing. I actually was drawn to read Philippians just a few night ago and now you posted about it, God is talking! Thank you for this awesome post!

Terry McGovern said...

Thanks for commenting Cindy.

I am glad you enjoyed the post.

Terry

Juan Carlos Asmat said...

Thanks for this post. It was a blessing to go over Philippians again and I do agree that what our view and respect is of Jesus Christ, that will be how we will serve Him.
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Brian said...

Howdy!

I got back from 46 days in Enga province on Thursday. PNG is beautiful. Out of curiosity, do you work with people of the Enga language?

Keep up the great work!
In Christ
Brian Bish

BobinNC said...

Just letting you know I am still checking your posts. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Bob

Terry McGovern said...

Brian,


No I have never been to Enga. I am not on the main island. I live on PNG's outermost island province, New Ireland. I live it the Namatanai area working primarily among the Patpatar speaking people.

Bob,

Glad to see you are still coming to the blog!

Terry