Thursday, February 14, 2008

To Live is Christ

The next section of Philippians is 1:21-26:

To live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Jesus Christ through my coming to you again.

Paul was struggling with the idea of dying and being with Jesus immediately and wanting to stay and help the church in Philippi become stronger in their faith. Apparently Paul realized this was a selfish motive and he would stay to do the work Christ would have him do, yet "To live is Christ and to die is gain." He had the best of both worlds: To live for Christ is a life that is blessed and produces fruit for the kingdom; to die is immediate joy to be in the presence of God.

I have heard too many older Christians say that they have paid their dues and are now cruising through the latter stages of life. I don't see that concept in the Bible. I want to live every day for Christ as if it is my last. If I don't wake up next to my beautiful wife, then I will wake up face to face with my beautiful Savior.

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