Most people find this offensive, for to them, "To live is me, and to die is loss."
Death is not gain for to live is me. Therefore, Paul's statement is offensive, makes no sense.
David Brooks in his book, The Road to Character, speaks of Adam 1, the man characterized by what he calls "resume virtues." We focus mostly on these virtues, building the characteristics that would be noted on a resume, achievements, accomplishments, temporal goals, etc.
Brooks then turns to Adam 2, the man characterized by "eulogy virtues." These would be the things we would want to be remembered by, our character, our caring, the qualities that made us worthy of remembering.
Paul spent his entire life writing his own eulogy. He was not worried about advancing his resume, but rather about advancing the cause of Christ.
We must get to this point: Think not what people want you to be, but what God wants you to be.
Many of us are characterized by pride and stubbornness: What makes me feel good even at the expense of anyone else.
Pride and stubbornness must be replaced by humility and submission.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
One who is humble must be aware of his own weaknesses and of his own strengths.
Usually a self-aware person is humble.
The truly humble person is sure of who God wants him to be.
To be where God wants you to be you must be submissive, fully submitted to God's will.
What is God's will for you? That you strive to bring about his Kingdom.
The cause of Christ is the only cause that counts.
All that Paul had was given to God. "I will live for Christ; I will die for Christ."
Your career is not your purpose.
Christ and Christ alone is your purpose.
To live is Christ. To be a father, a mother, a husband, a wife, is Christ.
All are called to bringing about the Kingdom of God.
What is your job? How does Christ want to use that in the advancement of His kingdom?
You choose a career. Your calling is a vocation. One who is called will do it for free for a lifetime if necessary.
You are never able to be sure what to live for until you are sure of what is worth dying for.
Be Thou My Vision
Pastor Johnnie Blair