“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”- Galatians 2:20
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of life is not to have a reason for living. To live without meaning and purpose is not living at all.
Meaning and purpose for many takes many forms. Some live for their families. Others live for their friends, their jobs, or themselves. Some live for pleasure and self-gratification alone.
This kind of living is not living at all. But, in this letter to the Christians at Galatia, Apostle Paul says that he has found a reason for living. Ironically, his reason for living is in dying. It is a dying to self.
“I am crucified,” he says. I have died to myself. His personal concerns are no longer the primary concerns for his living. They have been superseded by ultimate concerns. He has been crucified with Christ and he himself no longer lives, but Christ lives in him.
We have to find a reason for living that is so evident, that everybody around us will know it. Our reason for living ought to be infectious and contagious.
Our smile, our laughter, our contentment, and our Christ ought to be so infectious that if others are not careful, they will catch it.
They won’t be able to remain negative around you. They won’t be able to remain sad around you. They won’t be able to remain mad around you.
The fruit of the spirit will catch hold of them, as it has you, and love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance will abound in their lives because they have caught your contagious reason for living.
The Apostle Paul’s reason for living was not just in the dying of himself, but in the dying of Christ. His faith in the death of Christ on the cross was the reason for his living.
Christ’s death on the cross was where he found the justification for which he longed. It is by faith in Christ that we are justified. It is God’s love for us, poured out on us on the cross of Calvary that justified us.
When we take communion and share the elements thereof; the broken body and the shed blood of Christ, we share in memory of Christ, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and His coming back again.
I have found a reason for living and that reason is Jesus Christ. If you haven’t found a reason for living today, I admonish you to find Jesus.
Jesus is tried and true and has never failed us yet. Draw unto Him while He is near and He will draw unto you. Seek Him while He can be found.
Confess Him and believe on Him and you will have a reason for living. Amen!
(The Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway is the pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church, 7900 South Western Avenue is Los Angeles.)