IT'S A NO-LOSE PROPOSITION!
- Key Verse
- For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
- READ THE CHAPTER
As believers, we belong to Christ whether living here on earth advancing His kingdom or in heaven in the Lord's holy presence.
ReflectionsPaul wrote to the church at Philippi from the confinement of his Roman jail cell. He begins chapter one joyfully thanking the Lord for that body of believers and offering them encouragement.
In verse 21, Paul writes, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Paul is stating he is content either way, living his life on earth exalting Christ through ministry, or dying and profiting by being with the Lord.
As most days begin, those first few minutes out of bed, my thoughts usually turn to what needs to be done that day. The day usually starts by tending to my immediate desires, which at that time of day is typically coffee! Then, the day goes on from there tending to personal, family, and external tasks, which are typically spelled out on my waiting "To Do" list.
More often than not, it seems my list is full of basic tasks, such as doing the laundry, going to the grocery store, calling the bank, etc. If I were living in Christ as Paul was, I think my list would look more like a "Live in Christ" list full of opportunities to know, love, serve, and walk with the Lord.
When I think of the word die, the word gain is not usually the first word to come to mind. Instead, I selfishly think of the loss of personal relationships. But, there is much to gain from death -- being in the Lord's presence 24/7; being reunited with loved ones who have already died; living with no more sin, sorrow, or temptation. We certainly lose everything we don't need, like earthly possessions, power, and prestige. But our dividend from death is much greater than our loss.
Paul knew to Whom he belonged. He was not afraid to die; rather, he was content to serve Christ whether here on earth or in God's presence. I find encouragement, comfort, and hope in Paul's message.
Life in Christ = Death is Gain!
Discussion Questions1. What is on your "To Do" list today? Does it include serving or worshiping the Lord?
2. What are the earthly idols that keep you from focusing on living for Christ?
3. Do you think of dying as gain? Does Paul's message give you hope or peace when facing death or dealing with the death of a loved one?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 13-17 (Philippians 1 - Colossians 1)
Read Philippians 2: 1-11.
• What does it mean to be selfish or to try to impress others?
• Why would those things go against what God would have you do?
• What, instead, does Paul say we should do? (verse 3 & 4)
• What would it look like in your own life to do those things?
• What did Christ do for you?
• How did He show humility?
• Is it easy for you to be humble, not seek everyone's approval, and to serve others above yourself?
Activity: At a family meeting, ask each person to identify someone to serve. For the person you identify, think about doing something that puts that person before yourself. Try to think of someone who cannot do anything for you in return!