“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”. (PHILIPPIANS 1:21)

If my wife were to be alive, she would have turned 54 today.  During the last days of her life, we talked about her life verse, Philippians 1:21.

“Do you think God is happy with my life?” she asked me in her frail voice.

“Definitely!”  I assured her.

“Why?” she replied.  I knew she would ask.  In our 22 years of marriage, I knew better than to give her pat answers.

“Because you have served Him faithfully all these years,” I said, my voice trembling.  You served Him faithfully when you were in the Youth Fellowship and you served Him as a full-time worker all these years since you graduated from uni.  I am sure God will call you a good and faithful servant.”

“So, I have lived my life for Christ, right?”

“Yes,” I replied holding back my tears.  She kept quiet, but I knew she was thinking about the second half of the verse.  About 2 weeks later, she was called home.

In a situation of great importance, we always call it “a matter of life and death.”  In the manner of natural sequence, life precedes death.  However, when it comes to spiritual things, the sequence is reversed.

* A grain of wheat has to fall into the ground and die before it bears much fruit   

  (John 12:24).

* We have to die to sin in order to be alive in Christ (Romans 6).

* We have to put to death the deeds of the body in order to live (Romans 8:13)

* We have to be crucified with Christ in order to live by faith (Galatians 2:20).

* If we die with Christ, we will also live with Him (2 Timothy 2:11)

Finally, the resurrection of Christ says it all - there is no Easter without Good Friday.  In spiritual things, it is “a matter of death and life”.

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

~ Deitrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship