To live is …?

Hi everyone! As we approach the weekend, we would love to share a bit of God’s word through these Friday devotionals so we can finish off the week strengthened in the Lord!

Have you ever been so in love with something that you would do literally anything to acquire it and keep it safe in your possession? Have you ever been so in love with someone that you would do almost anything for that person?

Have you ever felt that with Christ; would you truly do anything for Christ? Just take a moment and think about that.

Let’s pray and meditate on Philippians 1: 19-26


19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Paul and Timothy wrote this letter to God’s Holy people in Philippi. He started his letter with a passionate praise to God for the Philippians’ partnership and confidence in proclaiming the Gospel of the risen Christ. How many of us actually thank and praise God for our fellow Christians’ faith and confidence in Christ?


He then followed with such a personal and intimate message to the Philippians, which is very much him pouring his heart out about his internal anguish.

“19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,whether by life or by death.”

Paul knows that through the Church’s prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Christ, what happened to him (persecution and never ending affliction) will turn out for his deliverance/ for his good/ for his sanctification towards the image of the perfect Son who was also afflicted, persecuted, tortured and killed.


Paul never preached to the Church that if anyone lives a life for Christ that his life on earth will be guaranteed to have no problems. In fact, he knows and tells them that it is the other way around. His prayer is that God through His Spirit will give him courage so that Christ will be exalted in his body – by life or by death – by whatever happens to him – by whatever he goes through in life.


This is the point of “to live is Christ.”

As Christians we should not ask, “What am I going to do with my life?” more often than we ask, “Is Christ going to be exalted in my body – in my joy, in my suffering, in my pain, in my trials, in my success, and even in my DEATH?”


“21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”


Paul knew that if he was to go on living in the body (which also means more physical persecution, emotional agony, etc) this will mean fruitful labour for him! The key word here is ‘fruitful.’ The impact. The word ‘fruitful’ here completely refers to the fruit that grows out of abiding in Christ. This is NOT referring to personal success or endeavours. This is referring to the advancement of His Kingdom; the establishment of the rule of Christ in the world so lost, broken and hopeless.

So let’s daily ask ourselves this question, “If I am going to go on living, am I going to be fruitful for His Kingdom?”

This is what a genuine Christ follower should aim for – in whatever we do or say.


But reality always strikes. Paul knows his true heart’s desire – and that is to be with the Risen Christ than to stay in the body – torn, afflicted, tortured. He is torn between the two: “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”


25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.


Do you love Christ this much that:
1. You desire to be with the risen Christ more than anything else in the world?
(to die is Gain)


2. Yet you still rather live in your body (even if it means living in affliction, agony, persecution) so you can continue being fruitful in the progress and joy in the faith of fellow Christians in order that Christ can continue being exalted in your body?
(to live is Christ)


To answer, or rather, to live out those two questions, let’s look at Christ:

He was willing enough to humble Himself down from all His majesty and comfort as the Creator of the Universe to live in the finite flesh – persecuted, tortured, killed – for the sake of His people. He did this so that the Father would be exalted in his body: by His life and by His death on the cross.Let’s pray that by His Spirit, He can enable and empower us to live a life of joyful fruits for the Lord. 

Thank you Jesus that our lives are in your hands!

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