written by Matthew Kim
“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” – James 4:14
This passage does not ask, “What is life,” but rather “what is your life?” If someone asked you this question, how would you respond?
There are many different ways you can respond. You could say your life is all about getting good grades, investing into different social organizations/frats at UCLA, evangelizing, or even hanging out with people and “fellowshipping.” But in the end, what is your answer?
This question was not something I thought about much coming to college. I knew I was a Christian who wanted to get decent grades in classes and play as much basketball as I could, but then I met a guy named Jon Lee, who became my small group leader. He would always use the phrase, “to maximally glorify God.” I knew that the Christian’s goal was to glorify Him, but why was Jon asking me to maximally do so? Wasn’t it enough to give just some of my time here and there? My lack of discipline and consistency with Bible readings and prayers were hardly the worst struggles to have. After all, God is loving and gracious, and “once saved, always saved” RIGHT??? However, Jon pointed out many passages in Scripture to show me that we cannot be living our lives to please ourselves, but that Christ must reign in our lives.
What is your life? When faced with this question, there is the obvious, Sunday school-esque, right answer that every GOCer will say. We are Christians, so you might respond as the lyrics in “All I Have Is Christ” go by saying, “Jesus is my life.” But what does this even mean other than random words that we sing because everyone else sings them at GOC?
To call yourself a Christian means to put on the identity of Christ. By saying, “Jesus is my life,” you are saying that you equate Jesus with your life. In math lingo, you are saying Jesus = my life. But can you do that with the life you live now? And by this, I don’t just mean your external life as a GOCer who does a lot of Christian things. Anyone can have biblical knowledge, serve on a ministry, attend GOC/church, etc. But where exactly do you stand in your walk with the Lord?
Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
Do you know God and does God know you? Do you spend enough time with Him each day and devote everything you do unto Him? Or do you do things to satisfy your own requirements to seem spiritual and fit in at GOC?
One of my favorite verses comes from All Glory Be To Christ by Kings Kaleidoscope:
“Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive.
To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!”
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” – 2 Corinthians 13:5