Philippians 1.21 “ For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better”.
Imagine if this could be the words we all were able to say!! Take a moment to think about the man who wrote them, the Apostle Paul.
Not too many year before, these words would have been unimaginable coming from him. This man who stood at the stoning of Stephen, a death he heartedly agreed with. This man who ravaged the church, who was determined to crush it to get the followers of Jesus in oder, now says ‘living means living for Christ’
Paul was doing what he thought was right. He saw this group who followed Jesus as a threat to his lifestyle, his belief system, the community that he was a part of. But confronted with the living Jesus on the road to Damascus he is confronted with the reality that what they said about Jesus was right. Jesus lives!!
The two takeaways are these:
- No one is beyond the grace and transforming love of Jesus. Those who we might have given up on, Jesus doesn’t. Those who we think cannot change Jesus can change. Transformation is Jesus work – ours is to be faithful to him
- We are in a cultural war. We live in a world who’s culture is against God. They don’t know it, but their ideals, their values, their lifestyles that the long to protect are against God’s perfect ideals. Paul saw the followers of Jesus as a threat to his lifestyle. We have to ask the question, are we a threat to the lifestyles, the value systems, the priorities of the world? Do we live a life of tension – following Jesus makes us different. Does it really? Are we living and speaking a gospel that challenges others?