During the introduction to our message this past Sunday, Chet contrasted the mindset of the early Church with the way that we tend to view Christianity today. During that first century, men and women literally lived for the Gospel. Paul said it best: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain,” (Philippians 1:21).
Two thousand years later, our culture wants to make sure the Gospel lives for us. We want to ensure that all the good things God has to offer are coming our way. Being a Christian is often thought of as a premiere ticket to a major event. We get front row seats, lots of good choices for snacks, plenty of seats for our friends, and a chance to meet and greet the performers.
That rather shallow interpretation of pursuing Christ is not what Jesus has in mind for us. I am grateful that the Bible doesn’t just tell us to believe a certain way, but gives us living, breathing examples of how to accomplish that kind of life.
Consider the last few chapters of the book of Acts, where we get to see Paul’s resolve to let the Gospel impact him in a real life or death situation. Slowly and methodically, Luke details out the circumstances of their trip to Rome for us:
In the midst of such chaos, Paul urges everyone to keep up their courage. He plainly states, “…I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me.” Eventually, they reach land in safety.
It’s a real life, biographically accurate story that highlights how to live for the sake of the Gospel.
Let’s contrast that story with the events of our own last week or two. Are we living for the sake of the Gospel or are we just expecting the Gospel to produce good things for us?
Let’s take a look at our calendars. On Monday, did I share the Good News of Jesus with anyone? How about Tuesday? Was Wednesday the day that I mentioned Christ to my neighbor? Did He come up in conversation at work on Thursday? Was I able to share some Scripture with friends on Friday night? Did the claims of Christ dominate family dinner on the weekend?
Fill in the blank. For me to live is _____________________.