“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is to gain.“
-Paul (Phil. 1:21)
Fill In The Blank:
Fill in the blank for yourself: For to me, to live is___________, and to _______________ is to gain. This is our verse of the week. It’s short, yet very profound. Our verse today says that to live is Christ and to die is to gain. We may agree with this verse as a Cristo-centric ideological philosophy, but that doesn’t mean a thing. The real question is do we BELIEVE it? To “Agree” about or with something, and to “believe” in something is very different. For example, opposing teams can agree to certain terms, but each team must believe in the cause of their own teams. Belief is much deeper, and certainly more meaningful.
So my question is not whether you agree with the verse or not, but whether you believe in that verse. Are you sold on this verse? Does this ring true to the very core of your soul? Has it set your soul on fire with purpose to make this verse transparent in your actions? Don’t just verbally accept this verse because it’s your christian duty to, but let it stew in your inner most being until it bears appropriate fruit in your praxis.
How do you know if you only “agree”, or if you really “believe”? This process is easier then you think. Just look at your practical everyday life. How do you fill these blanks in every day at work, home, play, school, etc.? To live is to_______; to ___________is to gain. A few sample words came to mind that surely have been true in my own life are popularity, wealth, stability, acceptance, success, prosperity, be loved, be admired, sacrifice, protect. Just look at how you fill these blank lines out every day and if there is anything other then “Jesus” and “die” then you merely agree with this verse and not believe in it.
The very thing that fills our every need is Jesus, and though many proclaim this to be a part of their essential beliefs, in practice its’ just a Christian concept they agree with. Pastor Francis Chan writes, “The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.” You may say that this is not true. You may claim to want Jesus every day and like Peter claim to follow Him to the very end, but all you really need to do to find out whether that’s true or not is fill in the blanks. If your actions, thoughts, and desires don’t line up with what Paul is saying then maybe it’s time for an adjustment.