To Live Is Christ

“Quality of life” is a phrase we hear often these days.  Usually, it is used to refer to issues relating to the approaching end of our physical life on earth.  People are concerned with not only how long they will live, but how they will live – will they be relatively free from pain, will they have freedom of movement and clear mental capabilities, etc.  Many would choose not to have their life unnecessarily prolonged through extraordinary medical means if it would leave them with no quality of life.

This past Sunday I finished my sermon series on Philippians.  Among other things, in this letter Paul addresses the matter of our quality of life – only he is not referring to the matters we typically think of – our mental and physical capabilities during the final stages of our earthly life.  Paul is referring to the quality of life we experience throughout the whole of our lives. Paul summarizes this in Phil. 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  

When we die, we will gain a quality of life we cannot even imagine, for we will be in the loving presence of God eternally.  But even now, throughout the whole of our lives, Christ offers us a brand new quality of life as we center our lives around Him.  We observed three aspects of this quality of life in the messages of the past three weeks.

First, Paul encouraged us in Phil. 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Then we saw in vs. 6-7 that we can be free from anxiety, for as we pray about everything “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  This past Sunday we examined vs. 10-12, which underscore how we, like Paul, can know true contentment in our lives no matter our circumstances.

Joy, peace, and contentment – those make for a wonderful quality of life.  That is what God desires for us, and that is what we can experience when we can truly say from the depth of our hearts, “For to me, to live is Christ.”  May we all experience life in Christ to the full!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob

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