Philippians on Fridays: To Live is Christ

Thanks for joining me for our Philippians on Fridays Devotion.  Today we’re looking at one of the most quoted scriptures in all of Philippians: Chapter 1 and verse 21:

Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (KJV)

These words are some of the most familiar and often quoted in the entire book of Philippians.  Paul’s words in verse 21 have provided inspiration for countless sermons and Bible studies.  This passage has been immortalized on cards, memes, plaques and frames.

Philippians As far as Paul was concerned, life itself was all about Christ.  He said, “For to me to live is Christ…”  For him, Christ was the purpose of life.  By Paul accentuating “for me,” he is implying that not everyone shares his outlook.  He was saying, for me, to live is Christ, but for others that may not be the case.  That prompts me to ask each of us the question, “What is life all about to us?

Let me be more plain.  How would we fill in the following blank?:

For to me, to live is _______________

How would we honestly fill in the blank?  Not what should we put on that line or what would we like to be able to put on that line, but how would we truthfully fill in that blank?

It’s not even easy to come up with an honest answer.  How does one really determine what to write on that line?  Some other questions may help us determine the answer:

  • What occupies my thinking throughout the day?
  • What do I talk about most with other people?
  • What do I do in my spare time?
  • What do I catch myself daydreaming about?
  • What are my life’s ambitions and goals?
  • How would I define success for my life?
  • What would my checkbook register or online account activity page reveal about my priorities?

If Christ and things of His Kingdom are not frequent answers to these questions, it would be difficult to honestly fill the blank with “Christ.”

For to me, to live is _______________

Many would have to answer: career, education, family, power, prestige, recognition, leisure, pleasure, recreation, retirement, or an infinite number of other things.  But Paul said, for me, life is about Christ.

Joy comes from Christ being the center of our lives.  

The Book of Philippians is a book about joy.  It reveals many secrets to possessing a deep, inner joy regardless of difficult circumstances.  This is one such secret:  Joy comes from Christ being the center of our lives.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:39:

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

When you surrender your life to Him, you find true life – you find true joy and peace.  Is Jesus the main subject or is He just a footnote?  Is He what you are living for or is He just a thought on Sunday, Wednesday, or when in crisis?  May we all re-align our lives in such a way that we, too, can truthfully say, “For to me, to live is Christ.”

~Matthew Ball

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Philippians on Fridays: To Live is Christ

  1. Bro. Ball I wished I lived closer to the church. But I read ur message all the time. Words can’t express how much my love is for god. He is in my mind,my heart n soul.