For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain

This morning meditation was from the first chapter of the epistle (letter) of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, the first Church founded by Paul in Macedonia. The letter starts with Paul’s thankfulness for the Church at Philippi, giving them words of encouragement to continue God’s work and exhorting them to meet and be filled with the Spirit of God.

He then shifts gear to talk about his Chains, as he was a prisoner for his allegiance to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
According to the Apostle Paul, these chains (bonds in Christ) were not chains that burdened him, instead these were chains that built confidence in all those who belonged to the Son of God, making them bold to proclaim the word without fear.

He them expresses a dilemma, that he would rather be in the presence of God than to abide in the flesh, however, he realizes that to abide in the flesh was more beneficial to the church. Having said that, his focus in not on himself, but on Christ (Messiah a.k.a. Jesus), which he expresses saying “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Philippians 1:21 is also the theme chosen for the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI) for the year of the Lord, 2009.

Point(s) to Ponder :

  1. Is our suffering chains for Jesus (if we do suffer any at all), ones that make people focus on us, or are they ones that make others confident to focus on the Son of God?
  2. Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Philippians 1:21 have a few interesting ways in which “For to me to live is _____________ and to die is ___________” can be completed as shown below
    For to me to live is money and to die is to leave it all behind
    For to me to live is fame and to die is to be forgotten
    For to me to live is power and to die is to lose it all

    How will you and I fill in the blanks – “For to me to live is _____________ and to die is ___________”.