“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21.
The book of Philippians is a letter written by Paul while he was in prison. This started out as a thank you letter to show his appreciation and love to the Philippians for their continued help and support. He was also trying to encourage them on their journey to grow as Christians and remain strong in their faith. But Paul was writing this letter at a time when he was uncertain whether he’d live or die and his joy has clearly been hampered by this situation.
TO LIVE IS CHRIST. Jesus is the center. He is the core of our very existence. He is the center of our life, our worship, our pursuit, our very being. To live is Christ.
In this scripture, Paul is saying that from the time of his conversion everything he has tried to do, everything he has become, and everything he looks forward to being pointed to his love for Jesus Christ. He’s sold out for Christ. Every move he’s makes will always be focused on advancing the Kingdom.
TO DIE IS GAIN. Paul is trying to make the case that there is absolutely nothing that Jesus Christ hasn’t already overcome, even death. So even as he was facing this challenging time in his life, he could do so because he knew Jesus Christ had absolute power over death. He could encourage others even in this time of despair because he know death could not over take him.
So the question I ask you today, “Are you sold out for Christ?” How do you know?
When a store (department store, grocery store, shoe store, any type of store) is preparing for new merchandise they do whatever it takes to get rid of the old merchandise. They put the merchandise on sale and will mark it down several times until it’s gone, they will donate whatever they can’t sell and they will even burn what they can’t donate. They want to make sure the shelves are CLEAN and ready for what’s NOW, FRESH, and IN SEASON. They want you, the buyer, focused on the new merchandise not the old, out of season stuff.
It is the same with God.
When you’ve sold out for God, like Paul, every move you make is focused on advancing the Kingdom. Just like a store, you will do what ever it takes to get rid of the old merchandise you’ve been holding in your heart. Why? It slows God’s progress. You’ll become distracted by the old. It will try to SUBTRACT from you because it can no longer ADD to you. When you let something or someone hang around that shouldn’t be in your life it’s a distraction, you’re not moving forward in the things of a God. God is always NOW, FRESH, IN SEASON.
What’s in your heart should be NOW, FRESH and IN SEASON. You shouldn’t be trying to get a harvest off of old plantings. Their season has already come and gone. You should always have new seedlings year round; winter, spring, summer and fall. Even as Paul faced great uncertainty he was still planting seeds for the Kingdom.
That’s how you know. That’s how you know when you’re sold out for Christ. You’re trying to help and encourage someone else when you’re struggling yourself. You’re praying for someone else when you find it difficult to pray for yourself. You’re lifting up strangers in the midst of your trials. You believe that no matter how it looks or appears that your blessings are still on their way. You’ll give your last dime to help someone in need because you know God is your provider. No matter how it looks for you, you’re still planting seeds for the Kingdom. You make sure that your shelf is always available for the Word and what’s NOW, FRESH AND IN SEASON. That’s when you know you’re sold out for God.