“I believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 is the Bible verse by which I live my everyday life. Of all the scriptures that I hold close to my heart which speaks directly to me, this is the verse that underlies the meaning and purpose to which I exist. Since I was a child, I have known Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. However, it was not until recently that I began to comprehend the real meaning of having a true relationship with Him.
A couple of weeks ago, a fellow co-worker confronted me with a very startling question. Being a life-long believer, I have heard this phrase many times. However, prior to now it never quite sank in. He asked me, “If you were to die and stand before God this very moment would you be certain God would let you into His kingdom?” I sat there for a moment trying to find deeper meaning behind this simple inquiry. Then it hit me. Why would the God of the universe, creator of galaxies, complex anatomy, and air molecules let me into his promised land when all I can think of giving him are the basics? It reminded me of studying for high school History exams, or should I say waiting until the night before to pass by the seams of my pants. God has given me more than I deserve and more than I could ever ask of Him, and yet I still let days pass where I forget to acknowledge Him. God does not want a show or a checklist for our own false assurance. He wants every piece of us. He simply wants permission to renovate. When we finally decide to come down off of our soap boxes and give Him the key to every room in our hearts, significant or trivial, that is when we will truly start to feel His presence, showering over ever part of our lives. That is why I have decided to live for Christ.
Up until that point, I lived everyday as if it were mine to live, pondering only the essence of my being and forgetting that the reason for my presence on this earth is solely to give Him glory through my actions, words, and to spread the gospel to those around me. The reason why the Bible is such a difficult book to understand is because everyone has their own interpretation of its context. While one person may get something very direct out it, another may read the same text and take away something completely different. The verse Philippians 1:21 has had such an impact on my daily life because when I look around me throughout the day, God is so apparent everywhere I look. I do not want to miss any beautiful signs that remind me of his presence. I live and breathe everyday for Him, and try my hardest to love unconditionally, and strive to be a better person simply by remembering the cross and what He went through to make sure my sins are covered. He is the love of my life, my greatest comforter, counselor, advisor, and most of all my Father. I am in great debt to Him. I owe Him my life. Not because He demands it, but because He is the God of all love, compassion, mercy, and joy. This is how I interpret this significant verse.
I am so blessed to have the opportunity to praise and worship Him freely. Although, even if I did not have the freedom of religion, nothing could interfere with my relationship with Him. I would stand proudly for what is most important to me even if it means I should be martyred for it. That is what the second part of the verse means to me. “To die is gain,” means, even if death were the end result and I would not be able to live life on earth to honor and live for Him, dying would only be greater. I would actually be with my Creator after death.
The Bible verse, “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” has the biggest impact on my daily life, in that it amplifies the reason for my existence and brings new meaning to the way I think my life should be lived. Everyone has morals and things they view as most valuable. In my life, living for God is the single most important concept for me to keep in mind and to keep close to my heart.