For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ~Philippians 1:21
The term “live it up” means to thoroughly enjoy your circumstance or situation. It has the idea of having the best time of your life and not wanting to trade what you are experiencing for anything else. Are you at the place in your life where you can confidently say that you're living it up? Paul was describing his situation. What looked bad to other people was the time of his life. What appeared to be a discouraging circumstance was life at its best. Let’s examine what Paul meant when he said, “For to me to live is Christ.”
We see the predicament.
He was a prisoner chained to two guards. His basic freedoms were removed. Everywhere he went, the guards went with him. Anyone whom he spoke with was examined by the guards. Anyone whom he corresponded with was under scrutiny. Humanly speaking, he appeared to be in a very tough circumstance.
We see the performance.
Physically, he was chained; but spiritually and emotionally, he sensed a freedom from God. During this imprisonment, he made the most of where he was to be a strong witness of the gospel. It is likely that Paul witnessed repeatedly to the guards and servants who waited upon him. He said that all those in Caesar’s palace heard the gospel. God gave him an audience that he otherwise would not have had. It was also during this time that Paul wrote letters to the Philippians and to a couple of other churches. This situation gave way to the writing ministry that Paul was given by God.
We see the priority.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He summed up his life ambition and priority as being one Person: Christ! He summed up his life desire, and that was Christ. “To live is Christ”! I can enjoy life to the maximum because of Christ! I can enjoy being incarcerated because of Christ. Each day for Paul was a day that he looked forward to! He was testifying that life is a win-win situation when we have Jesus as our Savior. Christ was foremost in his decisions and desires.
We see the product.
He was saying, “I’m living it up. I have joy because life is about Christ. I’m in the right place at the right time because of Christ. Life cannot be any better than it is because of Christ.” He concluded that circumstances did not control him; he discovered that through Christ, he controlled the circumstances. Everyone in his life, who was having challenges of some kind, had to take a step back and consider that they were not making the most of their situation. As people watched Paul, his spirit gave evidence of the inherent joy and peace that is linked to a Christ-filled life.
Are you in a personal situation where you feel like you are under chains and restrictions? Have you given up on God’s plan for your life? Paul’s life philosophy is still applicable for you and for me. Decide today to live it up. Live it up in Christ! Surrender your life so that your life testifies, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Remove the distractions that are hindering you from letting Christ be the reason for your living. Live it up by making life all about Jesus!
Have a Christ-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 16-18