When the group is debating whether or not they should go through with this and risk Teal'c's life, Master Bra'tac says, "Life for the sake of life means nothing. Neither for me nor for Teal'c. . . Either he will return to us as we know him or he will not return to us."
It got me thinking. Is there any point in living your life, if you are living for a lie? According to Bra'tac, there is not. If Teal'c had lived only to serve a false god because he had been brainwashed, his life would have no meaning. Which begs the question: What am I living for? Am I living for something that truly matter? Are the things I am living for no more than false gods, counterfeit idols, fakes?
I'm reminded of two very different men. The first was an incredibly wealthy man. The finest of foods, wines, and entertainment was his. You name it, he owned it. Two of them. Beautiful women threw themselves at him to fulfill his every fantasy. He was powerful too. He was recognized around the world and he was very much above the law. No one would dare cross him and people did as he ordered without question. But he wasn't just shallow either. His life was full of accomplishments. He was an incredible architect who designed beautiful buildings that were talked about for centuries after he died. And he was smart. He was brilliant with strategy and the little stuff. People would come to him for help and advice from afar. He had it all. Money, women, power, pleasure, legacy, success, and brains. And here is what King Solomon said about it...
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. -- Ecclesiastes 1:14
The second man was more or less a nobody for the first half of his life. He worked a hard job day in and day out. He was a bit of a hot head and people knew he had a temper. He didn't have much of an education. He wasn't dumb. He just didn't really have the opportunity. He had a wife and your pretty typical life. And then his life was turned upside down when Jesus showed up and said, "Follow me." So he followed. For three years he walked with Jesus and at one point, things got rough. A lot of people started leaving Jesus. So Jesus asked this man, "Will you leave me too?" Here is how Peter responded...
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. -- John 6:68
These two men are expressing the same thing, though they learned it in very different ways.
Solomon had experienced everything that this world had to offer and he had it to the fullest. Yet, at the end of his life, he was left with regret because he realized that life for the sake of this earthly life is meaningless. Living for this world or anything in it doesn't satisfy. Living for power, popularity, money, wisdom, or even seemingly good things like your family just doesn't fulfill you. If all you're living for are things that are under the sun, in other words, stuff here on earth in this life, then your life is meaningless, meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Peter had experienced a bit of the opposite. He had the normal life that most of us have. He had a home, a family, and a job. But then he met Jesus. He got to spend time with God Himself. And after following Jesus, Peter realized that there was nothing this world had to offer that even compared. When Jesus asked if Peter wanted to leave him, Peter said it quite well. Leave you Jesus? And go where? Go live my life for me? I've done that. Where else would I go? You have what I want. You have what life is all about. I'm with you.
The only way to live a life with meaning, is to start living for the One who is over the sun. This life is about something much bigger and greater than anything on this earth. You can spend your life living for the things on this planet, but in the end you'll find that they are nothing more than lies, false gods, counterfeits that do not satisfy. Or you can lift your eyes up above this place and live your life for the God who created it all and who created you with a purpose to know Him, walk with Him, worship Him, serve Him, and be loved by Him. Life for the sake of life is indeed meaningless, but life lived for God has true purpose and true joy and satisfies the soul.
- Have I committed to following Christ to have the only kind of life that satisfies? Why not now? If you give your life to Christ, let me or your pastor know!
- If I honestly looked at my time, money, and the things I get passionate about, what does it look like I am living for? Are there things I need to cut out of my life entirely or things I need to tone down?
- What is the next step for me in following Christ? Baptism? Joining a life group or Bible study? Asking an older believer to mentor/disciple me? Dealing with a sinful habit? Getting in the habit of spending time praying and reading the Bible every day?
- One of the most purposeful things we Christians get to do is share the gospel with someone. When we do that and a person puts their faith in Christ, we have literally partnered with God to impact someone's life for all of eternity! What greater purpose or accomplishment is there? Who is has God put in your life for you to share the gospel with? Pray that the Holy Spirit would lay bring someone to mind if you can't think of anyone.