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For to me to live is Christ… ~ Philippians 1:21a

READING: Philippians 1:12-26

How would you complete this sentence: “For me to live is ________.”? Suppose your spouse, children or a close friend were to answer for you. What would they say is your reason for living?

Most church planters are driven by a vision to win people to Christ, plant a great church, or start multiple churches. So the honest answer to “for me to live is ________,” might be “church planting” or “serving Jesus” or “evangelism.”

The Apostle Paul, the greatest church planter who ever lived, spelled out his philosophy of life: For me to live is Christ. So how is his answer different than that of many church planters?

For Paul, living was about Christ Himself – not just serving or working for Him, but knowing Him. Even more than evangelism or church planting or doing anything for Him, it was intimacy with the Lord Himself.

So what does that mean – to live is Christ? I think it means at least five things:

1. Christ is the Lord of my life. He is, and always will be, the most important Person in my life.

2. Christ is the hope of my life. I’m trusting only Him for my eternal destiny. It’s never what I’ve done for Him but always what He’s done for me that counts.

3. Christ is the strength of my life. I am weak without Him and it is His strength that enables me to live with joy in every circumstance.

4. Christ is the meaning of my life. Knowing, loving, serving and glorifying Him is my highest goal and ambition .

5. Christ is the love of my life. I love Jesus more than anyone, including even my family or myself.

Jesus, I love serving You, but teach me to love knowing You even more. May I be able to say, “To live is Christ.” Amen.

Jim Carpenter