Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ~Philippians 1:18-21 (ESV)
Ever hear of the concept of a life verse? It is when someone finds a verse in the Bible that stands out to them and they decide to adopt it as a motto for what they hope their life will look like. In a way, it’s a personal vision statement.
I think Philippians 1:21 makes a good life verse for all Christians.
While in prison, unsure about what would happen in the future, and having to face news of people who tried to use his situation to their gain, Paul found joy. He knew he wasn’t alone. The Philippians church was praying for him, the Holy Spirit was with him, and he had hope.
This hope was not simply of one day escaping prison. Paul eventually was executed as a prisoner. Rather, this hope looked toward the eternal. Paul’s aim was to honor Christ in both life and death, so he would stand unashamed before men now and God later.
So, Paul could write boldly: For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Every breath Paul took was an opportunity to live for Jesus. If it cost him his life, then he would be with Jesus, a reality he calls “far better” (1:23). Paul’s hope for the future was so settled, that while he wouldn’t rush foolishly into death, if honoring Jesus cost him his life, then he knew he lost nothing but gained everything.
What if all followers of Jesus set themselves to live with that mindset? To love others deeply, to share Jesus boldly, and to risk everything to see others come to know Jesus? What if we all made To live is Christ, to die is gain our life verse? How much more, then, the world would know the love and greatness of Jesus, our Savior-King!
New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.