For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 11
“To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“God needed another angel in heaven.”
“When God closes a door He opens a window.”
Are you familiar with these or other “Christian Platitudes”? A platitude is an overused moral statement that has lost its meaning and become unhelpful. What about the saying, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain?” (v. 21) Is this a platitude? It is so easy to say and so hard to fathom. The well worn saying has made it onto bumper stickers, hallmark cards, gifs and t-shirts As a thoughtlessly dispensed platitude, this is a cold and calloused way to comfort others. However, as a foundational spiritual truth, Paul’s profound words can radically change the way we think about living and dying in the Kingdom. Today, let’s focus on the first half of this saying,
The Kingdom Life – “To Live is Christ.” To those who don’t believe in God, life on earth is all there is. They live for the here and now, with no regard for God’s eternal priorities or their divine purpose. In light of the King and His eternal Kingdom, Paul rightly concluded that Christ is life: All that matters and all that will last.
Imagine a large frame on a prominent wall in your living room. Covering the piece of art is dozens of post it notes. Each note has a word that represents a “distraction” that is keeping you from seeing the image clearly – money, stuff, tv, social media, sports, music, school, popularity, etc. The list can go on and on. While many of these things can be harmless, or even blessings, if they keep us from seeing the true prize, which is Christ, they are a distraction. “To live is Christ” teaches us to keep the main thing the main thing. No distraction, no matter how fun or good it may be should obscure our view of Christ.
What are the distractions that are keeping you from seeing your life like Paul saw his life? Can you say, “to live is Christ?” Does your life reflect the conviction that “Christ is all, and in all?” (Colossians 3:11). Do you believe that in Christ “we live and move and have our being?” (Acts 17:28) Do you “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus?” (Philippians 3:8). This is the Christ Life. When you find it it, you will be like the man who “discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13:46)