Saturday, September 17, 2011

Life Happens: Simple Birthday Thoughts

Romans 14:8
If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

--CT Studd

In just a couple hours the clock will strike and it will be September 18th...the day I was born. 

As a child, birthday were always a joyful time.  Looking forward to a day to celebrating ME.  I'm sure you can relate.  For most children, birthdays hold special memories, a time when all the world around you stops to put the spotlight on you. 

As I get older, birthdays hold a different, more profound meaning for me.  Slowly, God is showing me the greater joy that comes from taking the spotlight off of me and placing it on Him.  Let me explain.   

As this day approaches, I realize that another year of my life has passed In college, our chancellor never allowed us to forget the reality check by CT Studd, reminding us that life was short.  That phrase sticks with me, and is especially ringing loud in my mind today.  Another year has passed...not that it's any surprise, but the reality that life is short is beginning to sink in- in a serious way.  

You see, Life happens...whether or not you are living it.  Today I am struck with the challenge to live my life, and to live it well.  For me, living it well means nothing less than a life devoted to a God who devoted His life to me. 

And yes, that may sound so selfless and sacrificial, but you know what- it's not.  When you really dig deep you realize that life does not get more fulfilling, purposeful, and abundant until you are truly living it for Him.  Like John Piper says, there is something hedonistic about that kind of sacrifice.  

In seeking to live a life for Christ, I am ultimately choosing to live my life in the most fulfilled way possible.  I am choosing to live a life in which true joys are to be found.  To me, there's nothing much sacrificial about that.  Because at the end of the day (and of life) what I am gaining, makes what I am giving seem entirely meaningless...compared to knowing Jesus and finding myself in Him.    

So, these are my simple thoughts as my birthday approaches...I want to remember to live. 

To live a life the honors Jesus, to live a life that magnifies Him, and to live a life aligned ever so closely to His will...His good, pleasing, and perfect will. 

Life happens.  Are you truly living? 

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