What is living to you? Is it driving a new car, living in a big house, vacationing when you want to, accomplishing all the things on your bucket list? Perhaps it's an accomplish that will outlive you-your name or an invention? How would you define "really living?" Some use this cliche rather flippantly. Really living might be as simple as sitting on the back porch with a good book and some cold tea or as complex as being self employed in some lucrative business where you have no one telling you what to do. How many times have we said "Ahhhh, this is the life?" or said of someone else "boy, don't they have the life?"
Seriously what is a proper definition of living? According to the Apostle Paul, it is none of the above. In 1 Thessalonians 3:8 Paul defined what true living is. According to Paul, it's what you have received and what you have passed on.
We are conduits of God's message. It didn't originate with us. We will not be credited or get the glory from it. People will not look back on us and say Wow, they really lived! In fact, if we do it right, they will say "Wow, they really gave and sacrificed."
Paul's life success was based on the reception and retention of his message. We are successful if we do what God instructs, but we are really living if the message is received and lived out in the next generation. It was life to Paul to know that all his trials and tribulations were not in vein and that he had made an eternal difference.
When eternal differences are made, that is living because eternal differences produce eternal life! It thrills the Lord. Paul knew that something he did was going to last for eternity. This was his legacy. Lives brought from darkness into an eternity with God. Nothing else will really matter in the end. We work so hard to build our lives but we should really stop and examine what we are doing. Is there any eternal value in it? Is it going to produce fruit that remains through all eternity?
Are we really living?