What is the meaning of life? Your answer defines the way you view everything. Success and prosperity, failure and poverty, the good, the bad, the ugly, the tragic, the evil, the end – the way you act and react to it all is defined by your answer to that question. The Apostle Paul, imprisoned for preaching about Jesus and awaiting the life-or-death outcome of his trial, wrote: "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) Did prison define Paul’s life? Was it even the hope of getting out that defined his life? No, it was the life of Another that defined his life. Christ defined the way Paul viewed everything. His imprisonment and his trial were a means to the end for him. And that end, that purpose, was to exalt and glorify Christ, come what may.
How could Paul say "to die is gain"? Death should not mean gain for me! I am sinful; my life sometimes looks like 'To live is to complain,' or 'To live is my needs, my wants, my way.' Death should mean eternal separation from a holy God! Do you see this for yourself as well? But take heart. What Paul proclaimed is what we cling to, as he did: the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the dead in the name of Jesus Christ! To say "to live is Christ" is to look to Christ and to rest assured in all He’s done for us as our God and Savior: He has given us life, He has redeemed us from our sinful hell-bound state, He has given us a whole new life to live in the freedom of forgiveness, and He has guaranteed us a glorious eternal life in Heaven. "To live is Christ!" My life is defined by Him and what He’s done for me, for us, for all. So Christ is my confidence to say "to die is gain!" Yes, THE MEANING OF LIFE IS FOUND IN CHRIST. And now in Christ, all of life is laid before you as a constant flow of opportunities to exalt and glorify Him.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.