For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 NIV
The church at Philippi was the first one Paul planted in Europe (Acts 16:6–40).
He was their first pastor, and had huge a huge impact on their lives. They loved him, and he loved them.
They were also deeply worried about him.
He was in prison in Rome, and likely had the penalty of execution looming.
Imagine if your first pastor or spiritual parent was imprisoned and facing death… It would be heart wrenching, wouldn’t it?
It would, and yet, even facing death, Paul assures them his imprisonment is actually a good thing! Because his persecution is advancing the Gospel (Philippians 1:12) in more ways than he can count.
Today is an invitation for us to live like Paul.
“To Live Is Christ”, Not Comfort
So often, I’ve realized my life turns into a pursuit of maximizing my personal comfort.
Paul’s life wasn’t about comfort. His “great expectation” was that Jesus would be glorified in his body either by his life or his death.For Paul, success in living or in dying was measured by this: do I pursue Jesus' glory above all else? Click To Tweet
Now, ready for a hard question?
If your life was a movie, what statement would best describe the plot?
“For me, to live is Christ,” or, “For me, to live is comfort”?Comfort is an idol that wriggles its way into the smallest nooks and crannies in our lives, until it becomes a groundswell that takes over every waking breath. Click To Tweet
To truly live is not to be maximally comfortable. To truly live is to seek and savor Jesus above everything else this world has to offer.
It is only in Jesus eternal life is found.
Remember Peter and the disciples in John 6?
Jesus had just fed the multitudes with five loaves of bread and two fish. But afterwards, he said some hard things that the people didn’t like, so they left him.
Jesus asked the Twelve: “Do you want to go away as well?”
Peter answered: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Paul believed “to live is Christ,” because like the Disciples, he knew eternal life is found in Christ alone.
Will you pursue comfort or Christ, today?
Today’s devotion by Jordan Loftis, author of The Men With Bare Feet and host of The Bible Better Podcast.