“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Jesus told us, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Paul modeled this attitude. In Philippians he said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain;” Philippians 1:21.
There are those today and those through history who have died because of their faith in Christ. Paul, along with thousands of others, have embraced the opportunity to lay down their lives for the one who first died for them. They counted it joy to suffer for Jesus’ name in order to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
For us 21st century American, to live for Christ doesn’t necessarily mean being persecuted and killed. Nevertheless, Jesus’ words are no less relevant to us: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25).
Living for Christ requires a forfeiture of self. Living for Christ requires the kind of attitude Paul had: “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself.” It’s a renewal of perspective, a reversal of priorities: counting the things of the kingdom of God and its King of more importance than my own desires and plans.
- Romans 14:7-9; “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”