“The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.”
–Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher and statesman
“Life verses are like Post-it Notes for the soul.” I just made that up. That’s me trying to be fancy. Stop it. For those of you who don’t know, my life verse happens to be Philippians 1:21. The apostle Paul wrote these profound words to the believers in Philippi: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21, ESV). It’s a verse that keeps me grounded every single day. Like a target on the wall, I attempt to aim for it each day. When Paul wrote those words, he was imprisoned for his faith and service to Christ. He didn’t know whether he would be released from jail or not. He debated on which was ultimately better—to continue living in this world or to die and be with Christ. Paul’s conclusion? If Paul died, he would consider it great gain because he would get to finally be with his Lord and Savior. But if he continued in this world, he would use the opportunity to live for Jesus by doing even more fruitful labor for the kingdom of God.
And that’s how I attempt to live my life each day. Although it may sound strange to many, I live my life as if death could be just around the corner—which is really not an uncommon thing in our world today. And I’m ready (and dare I say, eager) to die anytime and be with my Lord and Savior for eternity. But here’s how I look at my life each day: if God gives me another day in this world, I’m going to use it to live for Jesus as best as I can. I’m going to make my life count. I’m going to participate in advancing God’s kingdom forward. And if God gives me another day after that, I’ll do the same.
It’s important for us, Christians, to have an eternal perspective on life. What we see today with our eyes is only temporary. The new car you bought last week? It’s temporary. The house you live in? It’s temporary. The worldly dreams and ambitions you’re chasing? It’s all temporary. But what we can’t see with our eyes, that’s the eternal stuff—the stuff that’s going to last for a really long time (see 2 Corinthians 4:18). I believe keeping an eternal perspective in mind will help us to live our days in ways that are both simple and meaningful.
Whenever I do my morning devotions, I have two prayer items that are consistent each day:
I thank God for another day.
I pray to God that I will use this day in service to Him.
Keep an eternal perspective in mind. Life isn’t just about the here and now. There’s eternity waiting for us on the other side. That should motivate us to live for Jesus every single day in faith and in service to Him.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”