TO LIVE IS CHRIST

Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:18-26

“For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain…I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” (Philippians 1:21,23-24)

Paul was in prison and he knew that he could be condemned to die. Notice what he said — “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” He was content to live and he was ready to die. He knew that dying meant that he would be delivered from this broken world and taken to glory where he would be with Christ. He was hard pressed between the two because he knew that God was not finished with his work here on earth.

But Paul’s greatest desire was to go be with the Lord. He wasn’t like some people who say, “I’m right with God and have peace about dying, but just not now.” Paul wanted to go be with Jesus as soon as he could; but he knew that God had a plan for him on earth — “But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” If God was not finished with him on earth, he was content to remain here. But he really wanted to go be with the the Lord in glory.

The older I am getting the more I understand what Paul was struggling with. I long to go be with Jesus in glory. I look forward to going to the place Jesus has prepared for me where I will be set free from all the struggles here on earth. But, I want to finish what God has for me to do on earth.

“To live is Christ.” I am able to draw from His strength and to experience His love and presence now. If I remain here, I want my life to count for Christ. But I am ready to die, for to die is my gain.

Lord Jesus, I cannot wait until I see You face to face. I look forward to seeing Your glory and spending eternity with You. But until my time comes, I want to live for You here on earth. I want to finish what You have in store for me here, but I am ready to be with You when my time comes to leave this earth. Indeed, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

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