For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
For Paul, the entire purpose of life was to live for Christ. That’s it. He knew the only reason he was alive was because God created and sustained him. For that reason, he had no interest in anything that didn’t bring glory to his Creator. He desired to be apart from this world and walk truly with His Savior, but he also knew he had important ministry remaining. He knew there were people God would use him to bless, and he desired to point them to Christ. Paul’s life was about glorifying Christ and serving people.
Paul did not know whether he would live or die, but he knew what was best for him and for the Philippian believers. Though his situation was unresolved, he was determined to continue his ministry as long as he could.
What a great reminder for us as we consider our own core values and purpose in the world. There is much we don’t know about our futures, but what we can know for certain is God’s abiding grace and the purpose He has given of advancing His gospel in all places, beginning with us in the relationships He has given us at home, at work, in our neighborhoods and with the people He brings to 121.
What is your life about? God has placed you right where you are among the people you know for the important purpose of worshiping Him and leading them to do the same. When it comes down to it, all of our lives should be about Jesus.
• Put Paul’s express purpose for living in your own words. Is the same true of you? Why or why not?
• Paul wanted the Philippians to understand that the possibility of his death did not mean defeat. What is a situation where you need to change the narrative to reflect a Philippians 1:21 attitude?
• Thank God that in Christ there is always life and hope. Ask God to help you sacrifice your personal desires and interests to help family members grow in their relationship with Him.