This week I’m hanging out at The Gospel Coalition’s 2012 Ontario Regional Conference (where, for those attending, you can get a free copy of Awaiting a Savior at one of the exhibitor tables) and already it’s been a tremendous experience. Rather than live-blogging the conference in its entirety, I really felt like it was important to sit back (for the most part) and take in the content and see what the Lord would teach me through it. And already, there have been a couple of really big things. Perhaps the most challenging is something that came up in John Neufeld during his message as he reflected on Philippians 1:21:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
“What Paul is saying here is that life is the proclamation of the gospel—this is his life,” Neufeld argued. “That’s living.” And not only to proclaim the gospel, but to train up other leaders to proclaim the gospel. That’s life. That’s what it means when Paul says “to live is Christ,” Neufeld admonished us. This kind of sold-out, all consuming zeal for the gospel—for the Christian, this ought to be what we’re living for.
And then “to die is gain.” When death comes, we gain immeasurably as we are with Christ, and we will know that all His purposes in our lives will be fulfilled. We ought to look forward to this with great anticipation. As all consuming as our passion for preaching the gospel should be, there is something better. It is to be with Christ.
Yet, I wonder if we look at our lives if we would say they reflect the passion that consumed the Apostle Paul (and should us as well). What opportunities are we missing? Where are we being silent when we ought to be bold? Do our prayers reflect the passion of one who wishes to be bold and to articulate the gospel clearly in whatever context we find ourselves in?
What is your life if it is not Christ?