Phil. 1: 21-24 To Live Is Christ CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Christianity is so much more than a ticket out of hell. It is not something that you have to wait until you die to begin to enjoy. As Paul said, “To Live is Christ.” And he gives:
Purpose to Your Life – With Christ in your life you have purpose – your life counts for something here and in eternity – you have all of eternity before you and just the few years of your existence behind you – imagine spending what little time you have here on yourself and having nothing in eternity to enjoy for it. Furthermore, with Christ all of life’s questions are answered – you know where you came from – where you are going – what exists in outer space – what doesn’t exist – what happens to those without Christ – and all prophecy, to boot. There is nothing that you need to know that you can’t find in the Bible.
Profit to Your Fear – So often, Christians that get saved at a young age want to experience sin in the world because they have been denied all the “fun” in church – but they are afraid to pursue it because they are hung up by guilt and shame – they think that if they can shake off the guilt they can sin without restraint – yet they cannot escape the consequences – and so they often find themselves on a vicious merry-go-round of guilt/shame/sin/pleasure/guilt… – with Christ all of this stops and you can get off the merry-go-round – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – the profit in that fear is that you can enjoy many things within the boundaries of Christ’s approval and never suffer bad consequences or thoughts as a result.
Perspective to Your Suffering – Christians suffer and when we do so in Christ we have a lot better understanding why – we may suffer to get to know him better [Phil 3:10] – or to be glorified with him in eternity [Rom 8:17-18] – or as a result of our testimony [1 Pet 4:13-14] – or in the normal course of life [1 Pet 5:9-10] – or, as Christ himself, to learn obedience [Heb 5:8] – whatever the case, you won’t have to ask, “Why is this happening to me?”
Provision for Your Needs – We are a needy people, no doubt – but in Christ you have all of your present needs met – wisdom, peace, comfort, joy, love, strength, grace, fellowship, hope, gratitude – “they” say that thankful people are happier people – if you don’t have Christ, who are you going to thank? And when you have Christ, you can thank him for all of these things because he truly provides them all.
Power to Your Prayer – Lots of people say prayers and have an almost superstitious reliance on the outcome – like athletes who cross themselves and hope for success – there is no power in any of that – just a false peace of mind that comes from the exercise – but in Christ, when you come to the Father in the name of Jesus, you have the true power of God behind every prayer – you can get something done with prayers prayed in the name of Jesus – if you prayed and asked the Lord to save you right now, he would do it – my friend, there is some power in that!