For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.–Phil. 1:21
I don’t know whether to call this my favorite verse or my most important verse, but I do know that it is the one that comes to my mind most often. It should be a key verse in the life of every Christian. If what Paul says isn’t true in your life you are on the wrong road. Whatever life might be to others, Paul says, “to me” it is “Christ”. That is as it should be. He describes his reason for living in the one word “Christ”. What would it be for you? What are you living for? Whom do you aim to please? What/Who do you value above all else?
Christ is not only our life (we would be spiritually dead without Him), He is also our reason for living. Christ was the source of Paul’s life, the aim of his life , and the end of his life. He was his all in all. So what is life all about for you? What are you living for? Possessions? Pleasure? Power? Position? Popularity? What is it? You can say whatever you want, but your actions speak louder than your words–they prove what it is. All the talk in the world doesn’t change the facts. If we truly treasure Christ above all, if He is really our reason for living, it will show by how we spend our time, energy, and money. So, what do you say now? Is it really Christ you are living for or self? Are you seeking to please Him or yourself? If you are living for anything other than Christ you are wasting your life. Admitting the truth might be embarrassing, but we are endangered if we don’t.
Living for Christ is Him living through you. It is not just you letting Him be a part of your life–He becomes everything , not just something, about your life. Why would you want to live for anything else? Can you see any advantage to living for self? Can you think of anyone who is better off by relegating Christ to a place of lesser importance than something else? I can’t either. When we sing,”It pays to serve Jesus” we are saying the truth–truer words were never spoken. It pays everyday and in every way, forever! You could say that living for Christ is an investment that pays eternal dividends. “When “to live is Christ”, “to die is gain”. And what glorious gain it will be! Just think of every promise in the Bible and let your imagination run wild and when all has been said and done, it has never “entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”(1 Cor. 2:9). So death is gain, not loss!
If you have settled the matter of being ready to die, by trusting Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you need to focus on your reason for living. In both instances Christ is the answer.