Wednesday, May 6
“For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”
Paul wrote these words while he was in prison awaiting a trial, the outcome of which was uncertain. But he did not see himself as being on trial so much as the message of Jesus Christ being on trial. He had found his purpose in life. Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is what gave his life meaning. He rejoiced that the church in Philippi had thus far embraced this same attitude. They shared his values. He wrote this letter to express his gratitude for their support for Christ’s mission and to encourage them to maintain and increase this mindset.
When we take a similar view, it shapes the way we interpret the events of our lives, be they on a global scale or our personal and family stories. If the cross of Christ is at the center of history, and the return of the Lord Jesus and the glorification of his Church is the culmination of history, then everything on the global scale is ultimately about the Spirit of Christ versus the spirit of the age. And everything on the personal level is about repentance and faith and remaining faithful
The present crisis presents many opportunities for speculating about possible conspiracies behind the coronavirus or worries about an uncertain future. Meanwhile, the constraints of isolating and physical distancing have added all kinds of stress to individuals, family systems, and businesses. But as followers of Christ we pray as we always have, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.” The struggle is to be a part of bringing the blessings of Christ into our world through repentance and faith. What does it mean in these days to have the attitude that “to live is Christ, to die is gain?” Our decisions and actions will rise from love, not fear. Our focus will be on the responsibilities and relationships God has ordained for us in our particular circumstances. We have peace with God through Christ knowing that he has and will overcome all evil, and that nothing of the Lord’s work in and through us will be in vain.
Prayer: Lord, God, I trust that you are in control of all things. I offer myself to you this day to be used for your purposes. Send workers into the harvest of souls for your kingdom. Grant that I may be a source of encouragement, hope, and joy to whomever you put in my path today.