To live is Christ–to die is gain!
Scripture reading for September 2nd: Philippians 1
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:1-2) In his introduction and greeting Paul refers to God the Father or Jesus Christ the Son four times! He sets the tone for his letter by exalting Christ and continues to do so throughout the letter. Christ Jesus is the Lord of Paul’s life and every believer and church leader must center on Jesus as well.
Paul was in jail for preaching the Gospel at the time of writing this letter. He prayed for this church that he had pioneered with joy, knowing that God had begun a good work in them and that God would see that work through to completion as the church followed Christ! (Philippians 1:6) Joy or rejoicing is mentioned fourteen times by Paul in this letter!
Paul did not know whether his imprisonment would lead to freedom again or death by execution for the Gospel. He conveyed his thoughts to the church for their prayers and encouragement. These recorded thoughts have encouraged Christians of all generations! “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21) Paul looked forward to being with Christ for all eternity. He was assured that life did not end at death. He lived for Christ and would die to be with Him! Let these thoughts encourage you today!