Fill in the Blank
"For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So, I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me."
Every year, coaches will ask their teams what their goals are, what they hope to accomplish, how far they want to go, what their destiny is that season. The answers to these questions will help decide what is important to a particular team, but each player must fill in his or her own blanks as an individual and for the team. And not everyone will have the same answers or goals.
In life we face some similar questions that require us to fill in the blanks. In the book of Philippians, Paul challenges the people with four questions:
1. Who/What are you devoted to?
2. Who/What is your destiny?
3. Who/What is your desire?
4. Who/What is on display in your life?
These were tough questions for the Philippian people. But Paul's answer for himself was simple and direct: Christ. That was the answer to every question. OK, yeah, it sounds canned or like the "given" answer, but Paul actually lived it out. In verse 22 of chapter 1 he states, "But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So, I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me." Paul's only focus in life was to live for Christ. Everything else found its place under that goal.
Look at the four questions. How do you honestly fill in the blanks? Are you able to live your life as Paul did? We all can say that is our focus, but as people watch our lives, can they actually see it in us? In studying Paul's life, you can easily see it in him. In prison, on the road, whatever his circumstance, he lived in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
As you ponder your life and the direction you are heading, find out if anything comes before Christ. Then pray about how you can start focusing on Him first and let all other things find their proper places.
(Inspired by a message from Aidan McKenzie, www.proclaiminghim.com.)
1. How did you fill in the blanks?
2. What is your biggest area of struggle in making Christ your life?
3. Today, how can you discipline your life to focus first and foremost on Christ?