How would you fill in these blanks: to live is ______ and to die is _______? To fill in the first blank, you must decide what you are living for. What is important to you? What gets you out of bed in the morning and motivates you? To fill in the second blank, you must determine your thoughts on death and answer the question, “After death, then what?” The Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21, filled in the blanks this way, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” To me that describes the Christian life.
We should no longer live for ourselves; but live for Christ. Matthew 16:24 says, “. . . If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Romans 12:1 tells us to offer our bodies “as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…” And Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”
To follow Christ, we must be saved (born-again), sanctified (set apart for Godly service) and filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Living for Christ must be our priority (what’s most important), our passion (what motivates us) and our principle (accepted rule of action or conduct).
For the Christ-follower; to die is gain. II Corinthians 5:8 says, “. . . to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” In John 14:3 Jesus says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” and in John 11:25 Jesus shares, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
I encourage you to get to the point where you can also say, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Celebrating 27 Years of Service as Exec. Director, Jimmie Hale Mission