Philippians 1: 21-24 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
(ESV STUDY BIBLE-NOTES)
Phil. 1:21 Paul’s life is not a matter of seeking his own comfort or advancement. It is all about seeking the advancement of Christ’s kingdom: to live is tantamount to serving Christ. In fact, to die should be seen as gain, because it would mean that Paul would be freed from his trouble-filled life on earth to rejoice in Christ’s presence.
Phil. 1:23 My desire is to depart and be with Christindicates that when Christians die they are immediately with Christ, long before their bodies are raised from the dead.
Pauls perspective is in tact weighing out what is better. It almost sounds like he is thinking out loud, and rationalizing what is happening to him. If in fact he has not already gone to be with Jesus, then there must be more to do here with the Body of Christ, and more in spreading the Gospel.
How often do we find our self at the end of the rope, and wondering if in fact we are done? We will not be done serving the KING in some manner, until HE takes us home with HIM, and then serve HIM there.
“to live is Christ”…life with all it sorrows and pains, and all its happiness and rejoicing, tears and laughter…all part of life, and all part of Christ. How can that be? Because HE also lived on the earth, and tasted and felt all that we will ever go through, and HE knows our struggles, HE overcame them. Living will not be better because of Christ, but do-able through HIS power. We are HIS hands and feet in this world, HIM working through us, and around us…to live is Christ!
“to die is gain”…where we are going when we leave this earth, has no comparison to any worldly thing. All glorious, no tears, no pain, no more negativity…ahhhh I see Paul’s dilema…we are not home yet…but when we get there..its our gain!
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