June 4
Living is Christ
Philippians 1:12-26

Key Verse: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

The chains that bound Paul in a Roman jail could not stop the gospel. The good news continued to spread, perhaps even more vigorously because Paul was in prison. Writing from his cell, Paul celebrated the mighty power of God to use even his imprisonment to advance the Kingdom.

This beautiful letter shows us what it means to live in Christ. Paul was not discouraged. He refused to give up. Hope was alive in his heart. The future was not bleak. Paul was trusting God in spite of adverse circumstances. The reason: for Paul nothing mattered more than Jesus Christ. For him Christ was life itself.

What caused Paul to have such faith? God, of course. But really, it was more what God had done and was doing. So what had God done?

God had helped Paul realize that Jesus was everything. He was not merely a special "extra" for Paul. He said it well: living is Christ! Nothing else in all of life could match knowing Jesus. He was not simply the goal of life, he was life itself.

God had also given Paul the love and support of a few Christian friends, especially those to whom he was writing in Philippi. Mark it down: few things in life are more valuable than a fellowship of Christian friends. Paul depended on God primarily, but he also depended on the prayers, love, and support of these Christians. When you count God's blessings today, be sure to count the loving support you receive from your brothers and sisters in the fellowship of believers.

God had done another great thing for Paul. He had given him eyes to see beyond the suffering of this present world. Paul knew that the mission God had given him would not end in a Roman prison cell. He knew that the purposes of God could not be thwarted by those who opposed God.

When we allow God to do these great and mighty things for us also, then our lives, like that Paul, will attract people to our Lord so that they too may discover that for God's people, living is Christ!