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"To live is ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬______________ and to die is _______________."
This is Paul's philosophy of life. The true meaning and purpose of life is summed up here.
v. 21 12 one syllable words ... but they say so much. What a hopeful expression. Either way, we win!
"Life is that to which you come alive!"
ill.--You and your wife walk through a mall. You are both fairly bored as you amble along. Then she sees it. A sale sign in a fancy store. She comes alive. You remain lethargic. You find a bench and sit. Time literally stands still. This is the dullest existence possible!
Then she emerges with bags in hand, and the walk continues, and something catches your eye. It's a new sporting goods store and they have everything from ATV's to Zip-line equipment! You run, in what feels like slow motion. This is what makes this life worth living!
"Life is that to which you come alive!"
What do you live for? To fish/hunt/work/shop/eat/for your kids
v. 21 replace 'Christ' with something else. What is it? That's your philosophy of life.
Later we will study Paul's philosophy of death. You cannot have the right philosophy of death if you don't have the appropriate philosophy of life.
Paul said that everything he lives for revolves around Jesus, who is the hub of the wheel, not just another spoke. [compartments like work/hobbies/home/spiritual]
Jesus is the beginning of life / basis / bounty / beauty / benediction!
With so many things going on in our lives, with so much busyness in our business, how do we have room for God? Because He IS our business, and all the rest are just things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
1. A personal experience.
v. 21 'for to me'
Christianity is not just a set of rules or beliefs. It is knowing Jesus in a personal way!
Salvation is not a plan or a program...it is a person: Jesus!
Ever been to a church where they read prayers from a book? How about where they say stuff in Latin? Religion without Christ reeks of death!
We must strive to keep it personal, not professional!
Churches go through 3 phases:
We all start out well, on a mission, which is the Great Commission to reach the lost. But in time we can allow ourselves to become the well oiled machine, going through the motions, and eventually we will be a building, just an empty shell of the past.
Christ is what makes a church alive / thrive / and worth the drive!
ill.--take a tour of old churches where greats of the past used to preach and thousands USED to be saved. Or ivy league schools. Those buildings today draw tourists, but they are simply monuments to the past.
This will happen here if Jesus ceases to be real and personal to each one of us! He is not a suit of clothes to put on each Sunday, and take off during the week. He is supposed to be the hub of the wheel, and permeate every area of our being!
He's not the big guy in the sky or the man upstairs, He's King of kings and Lord of lords, and due our reverence ... and yet He's a friend which sticks closer than a brother!
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
See how personal this is?
Jesus knows my name, not just my number.
Do you get junk mail? Mine is obvious, because they call me Shirley.
"Dear customer 867-5309 - we are personally interested in you!"
The antichrist will give the lost a #. When the end of the world comes, will your name be called, or will your number be up?
'For to me...'
2. A practical experience.
v. 21 'to live...'
He wants us to LIVE, not just exist.
Life is not about eating, sleeping, and working to pay bills until you die. "That's right...you need TV too!"
There's something very practical about having a higher purpose for your life. It's a mantra. It's marching orders. It's accountability, because above there is a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on from the grandstands of heaven, and a loving Father looking down in love, seeing us even when we are alone, and wanting to make something of our life which He gave to us!
What is practical Christianity?
In the home - kindness.
In business - honesty.
In society - courtesty.
In work - fairness.
Toward the unfortunate - generosity.