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Like Jesus: Run for Nothing?

by in Soul Food

". . . in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." (Philippians 2:15-16)

Some people don't like the book of Ecclesiastes. It's a book of great wisdom, but it asks a lot of hard questions -- and it doesn't answer all of them completely. The author's most famous line is the first one: "Meaningless, Meaningless, says the Preacher, all is meaningless." Solomon concludes more than once that you won't find the answer to life's meaning "under the sun."

In his writings -- also inspired by God but after the mystery of Jesus is revealed -- Paul answers a lot of Solomon's Ecclesiastes questions more fully by showing all the meaning that flows into our lives from "beyond the sun" through knowing Jesus. Today's passage is one of those answers. Here he says that his life -- his mission -- will be meaningful when the Philippians (and other believers of his day) live in such a way as to "hold out the word of life" to the next generation of Christians.

A life that matters involves passing the torch of faith in Jesus to others who are looking for meaning in their lives. As Paul describes it, those living in the darkness of a crooked generation will notice people in the light. Are you ready to talk about the source of your light with anyone who asks?

Think: Do you think Paul's life would really have been less meaningful if the Philippians had not pointed others to Jesus? Do you think he was confident that they would?

Pray: Ask God to help you live in a way that would attract unbelievers to come to you looking for the light.

Do: Whatever you do, do NOT start singing the camp song "Pass It On" in your head today; you'll never get it out. ("It only takes a spark to get a fire going . . .")

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