If you were at our worship service this past Sunday, you recall I spoke from Philippians 1:21, where the Apostle Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul was revealing in this statement what was at the core of his life, what his life was centered on, which was Christ Himself. The reason, of course, is that Jesus is the living Lord who reigns eternally, and by His grace, He draws us to Himself so we can experience the fullness of His love now and forever. In addition, He has a purpose for each of us in this life, a purpose that brings us a sense of meaning and satisfaction.
Living with Christ at the center of our lives does not mean we do not give appropriate time and attention to other aspects of life, such as family, friendships, career, community involvement, and even recreation. It simply means that we seek to fulfill Christ’s purpose for us in all areas of life.
Thus, to live is Christ – experiencing every day the wonder of His grace, the reality of His presence, the assurance of His guidance, the depth of His love, and the satisfaction of fulfilling His good purposes for us. On top of that, we also have the promise that “do die is gain.” What we experience as followers of Jesus in the world to come will far surpass the best we experience in this life.
How would you fill in the blanks, “For to me, to live is ____________, and to die is ____________”? There is a definite relationship between those two. If we make anything of this world the center of our life, then to die is to lose everything. But if with Paul, we can honestly say, “For to me, to live is Christ,” then we can know the fullness of life now as well as so much more in the world to come, for “to die is gain.” May this be true for all of us!
Grace and peace,