I was asked, “What is this life for if it ends with death?”
Well… I’ll tell you one thing, if you’re living for yourself, it all means nothing. You’ll hold no value and when you die; it was all for nothing. But, if you live for the glory of God, everything you do with this life on up to the day that you pass on, it means something; you leave a legacy worth remembering.
I’ll tell you something else too, it’s not enough to just be “a good person” in this life. Being a “good person” does not guarantee you a place in heaven. In fact, it doesn’t promise you anything. Everyone can be “good” at one point or another; every one of us can do a good deed and be rewarded in some way. But what’s the reward really amounting to, if it’s not from God Himself? If you’re not living to please God, none of it amounts to anything or matters in the end; it’s a waste. Again, it’s all for nothing.
So my question is, what are you longing for or striving towards in this life?
Are the things you value most, things of the world or things of God? “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT)
If you’re longing to be rewarded by the world, you’ll lose yourself, your identity and your purpose.
But if you long to be satisfied at the hand of God, you’ll find yourself and your purpose in this life.
Do you know your purpose?
Personally, when I think about my purpose in this life, I think, “What does God want me to do here?” instead of, “What am I going to do with my life?”
When I think about what God wants me to do, I begin to seek Him and find answers. But if I felt that I was the center of it all, like I control my own purpose; things begin to get really confusing.
Because God’s already got it all mapped out for us, we just have to follow the map (Word of God) if we don’t, we’ll lose our way, lose all hope and the only thing left for us to look forward to is dying.
And I’ve been there before…
I looked forward to dying more than I looked forward to living because I didn’t feel like there was a meaning for me here… But then it hit me that, if I’m still here, that only means that God’s not done with me. There has to be something else in store for me other than living just to die. And there is… And I’ll show you.
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-3 (ESV)
As plain as it is, I want to repeat what verse three says: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing”.
If all you look forward to is dying and all you think about is death, you are perishing; you are hopeless. And that is not living… at all.
And if that’s you, living like that, the Gospel won’t ever make sense to you and no matter how much truth is poured out to you, you won’t embrace it because you’ll have no faith in it.
The truth can be revealed to you all day, but because you don’t have a heart to accept it, it’ll never be able to penetrate you. Until you decide you want to live and embrace life (which is Christ), you’ll never see the gospel as a reason to live.
If you look forward to death with no hope, you won’t ever feel a need to want to be revived. In your dying state, you won’t care about heaven or hell. You’ll think there’s nothing worth looking forward to on the other side. And if you believe that now, you’re already dead… You are not living.
The only way you can truly be alive is to walk in the truth of God’s word and live according to it. Jesus (the living word) is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 (ESV)
If you don’t believe the word of God to be true, then Satan has you blind. The sad part is that even he knows that God has a purpose and a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11-14), but he’s keeping you from seeing it for yourself.
It’s his goal to keep you from believing the truth because he knows that if you start to believe what God says about you in His word, he won’t be able to stop you from getting to your purpose and he will be losing.
Satan wants to win you over. So he will send other people who don’t believe the gospel of Jesus Christ to continue to corrupt you. He’ll send people to destroy every seed of truth that has been sown into your life (Matthew 13:1-9).
I am here to shed light on the lies of the enemy. I know that he is telling you that you have no purpose here, that you have no future, that death is just a period and there’s nothing else to look forward to but the truth is, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 (ESV)
There’s so much more to this than what you see.
By now, after all the truth that’s been shared, it’s your choice to refuse to see the lies of Satan for what they are. You are choosing to be blind if you can’t see what God has to offer you. He has so much more in store for you than just dying. You can choose to see the truth or you can choose to remain blinded to it.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
God wants to revive you and give you a life you never believed you could experience. But He can only do that when you forsake your own understanding of things. When you stop trying to be the “wise guy” and trust in the Lord, He’ll lead you on and show you what you’ve been missing this whole time. If you’ll submit to respect the Lord and embrace His truths, my goodness, you’ll feel so alive. Trust me, I know.
I used to be dead (living to die). But because I embraced the same truth that God’s trying to get to you, I’m alive (living to live again).
When you’re living for Christ, dying means, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. It also means you’ve done what you were supposed to do here and it’s time to go home… Your mission is complete. And when you die in Christ, death has no sting (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
When you live for Christ, there’s purpose in death because death is not the end and living is just the beginning.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
Living for Christ isn’t the easy route and most folks want that (the easy way out). If I’m honest, there have been times when I wanted it the easy way. But the I was reminded that Christ didn’t take the easy way out, He went all the way; for you and me.
Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life, became sin in our place, died for our sins and then resurrected to be seated at the right hand of the Father. His job here was done… He completed His purpose here and then left us with a job to do, which is to tell the whole world about what He did and why He did it (John 3:16).
And as we go through this life, preaching Christ and telling the world of His wondrous ways, we’ll be ridiculed, mocked, slandered; all of the above and some more, because the god of this world (Satan) doesn’t want that truth getting out. He hates being exposed.
Satan doesn’t want us to find the reason to live (in Christ) because he knows that we’ll eventually spread the word to to others that there’s a reason to live… And if that happens, he continues to lose.
Again; I share this passage: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)
Life happens when we offer our lives as a sacrifice to God.
None of this means that we are here just suffer until we die. No, that’s not the case (read John 10:10). What it all means is that people are going to hate you because they hated Him, and they don’t want to seem Him glorified through us. People are going to hate you because who/what you stand for and they are going to try their best to keep you from standing for it.
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” Romans 8:36 (ESV)
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)
Also, check out Romans 8:18.
There’s glory on the other side of our sufferings but there’s also glory that is yet to be revealed in this life too. We just have to make it our mission to pursue it. We can live here, now – not just on the other side.
“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:13 (ESV)
We have something to look forward to when it’s all said and done! The people of the world, the unbelievers, they don’t… because they refuse to embrace what it really means to live.
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in Him death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11 (ESV)
You’ll experience many losses along the way. You may experience more losses than you’d like to imagine. I’ve stopped counting mine… But every loss I’ve experienced has led me closer to Christ and what it means to truly be alive.