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Everyone lives for something. Everyone has a master passion in their life. There is something that makes them get up in the morning.
What are you living for? Why do you exist? What is the meaning of your life? These are important questions.
The apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 NLT).
What if you had to sum up the real purpose of your life in one word? To live is …
Some people would say to live is to have fun. Others would say to live is to have possessions, or to live is to succeed in their career, or to live is to find the perfect mate. Everyone lives for something.
But only the person who can say, “To live is Christ” can then say, “to die is gain,” because for the Christian, not only do their lives on earth have meaning, but they have the certainty that when they die, they will go to heaven.
I am not suggesting that we Christians have some kind of a death wish. We don’t get up in the morning and think, I hope I die today. That would be so cool! I don’t think anyone loves life more than a Christian. But at the same time, we know that our lives are right with God and that if today were our last, we would go to meet the Lord. And that is a great thing to know.
Solomon went on a search for the meaning of life and wrote down his conclusions in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. This was a man who had basically tried everything the world had to offer. You might describe him as a hedonist extraordinaire.
Solomon essentially had unlimited resources as the king of Israel. So he decided to chase after every pleasure that could be found. He decided to chase after sex like there was no tomorrow. He decided to pursue uncontrolled materialism. He decided to drink until he was as drunk as a person possibly could be. He decided to build the finest homes and the greatest palaces. He wanted to do it all. And he did.
As you read through the record of his exploration, you also find his conclusion, which was that it was all empty. It was like chasing the wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
From time to time, I will read an interview with a celebrity or someone who has a lot of wealth. I will read about the emptiness of their lives and see that it is the same old story, told again and again: Life without God is empty.
In fact, the word Solomon used again and again in the book of Ecclesiastes is “emptiness,” which also could be translated “meaninglessness, futility, a wisp of a vapor, a hollow, empty ring; nothingness, or a bubble that bursts.”
Solomon was describing what life without God is like. It is like a bubble that hovers in the air momentarily and then suddenly … pop! It’s gone. It’s empty. This is what Solomon realized.
So after pursuing everything he thought would bring him fulfillment, Solomon wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NKJV).
Solomon was saying, “I know what I am talking about here. I have done it all. I have tried it all. If you leave God out of the picture, your life will be emptiness and meaningless. But if you want a life that is full, a life with purpose, then live for God and keep his commandments.”
God gave us his commandments not to make our lives miserable, but to protect us from the stupid things we potentially would do to ourselves. God’s commandments are not there to ruin our fun; they are there to guide us and help us.
Life can be like a puzzle. Have you ever put all the pieces of a puzzle together, only to discover there is one piece missing?
Sometimes life can be that way. You think that to put your life together, you need to do certain things. To be happy, you think, I need to have a good job. You get the job. Then it is the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend. Then it is the right wardrobe. Then it is the perfect car. And then, when you finally think that everything is just right, and it all should work now, you realize that something is missing. What is it? You are looking around, trying to figure it out.
God is saying, “I have the missing piece. It’s a relationship with me. That is what you have been missing. That is what you have been searching for and didn’t realize it.”
God has that missing piece you have been searching for in life.