To Live is Christ

Happy Thursday to you all. Last Sunday we wrapped up our journey with Paul through the book of Acts, and this week I’ve been mulling over Paul’s statement in Philippians 1, “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

I think the “die” part gets a bit overemphasized in that short statement. Here’s the “die” part. Paul knows when he dies it will be rad to be with Jesus. Ok, we’re done with “die” part.

The “live” part is more important for most of us, and through out journey with Paul I have been struck by how true this statement was for him. His ministry was a catch-as-catch-can kind of affair. The only consistent strategy he seems to use is going to the Jews first, then the gentiles. Other than that, he talks to whomever, whenever, wherever.

I’ve known some people who do this without much skill. Those folks tend to not listen, just talk to whomever, whenever, and wherever. Paul, however, puts a great deal of effort to have the appropriate (not always non-confrontational) conversation based on the background and story of the individual or group.

Jesus is the answer. To live is Christ. Jesus is the central character to all the stories, but they are different and varied stories.

I love Paul’s answer to Agrippa when he asked if Paul was trying to convert him in such a short time. “Short time or long-I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

To live is Christ. We want more for us, jealous and covetous for more intimacy with Jesus. To live is Christ. Every relationship around us is a story in which we have a role to play.

That’s all I have to say about that,