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

     This verse amazes me. It summarizes the mindset that every Christian should have pertaining to death. To those that follow Jesus, death is no longer a bad thing. Because Christ overcame it, it is now gain. Gain because out of death comes life with God. Gain because every sin, every fear, every evil has passed away. Gain because every good thing we lived for is now there in its fullness in Christ.

     Yet it also shows the attitude that we are to live with. For the follower of Jesus every moment is to be lived for the glory of God. That’s really what has been on my mind these days. I’ve been reminded that following after Jesus is far more than just acting spiritual on Sunday mornings, or even doing something extreme for Him like martyrdom. I’ve realized that Christ demands more than just a dramatic death-scene; He demands our lives. He demands us.

     To Paul, Christ was more than just important, He was everything. His entire motivation for living was to know Christ and to bring glory to Him. That is the mindset that every Christian should have. I find it fascinating that we so often seem to seperate things into catagories of ‘spiritual’ and ‘secular.’ We tend to think that when we spend time with the church, or studying the Bible, that we are living out our faith, but that God couldn’t care less about our normal activities like driving to work, or watching movies with friends.

     What I mean is this: God is interested in every aspect of our lives. It is true that He wants the moments when study Scripture, and feed the poor, and listen to sermons, and whatnot, but more than that, He wants the everyday moments as well. Just like what 1 Corinthians 10:31 says: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Everything that we do, even the mundane things, are to be for God’s glory.

     I think sometimes we get far too caught up in the quanitity of our good actions instead of the quality of our character. I would venture to say that a good man is not defined by doing more good deeds, but rather by the purpose for which he does all of his deeds. We get so caught up in doing things that are good, we forget to do ordinary things in a way that is good. We focus too much on living a good life that we forget that Christ is our Life.

     I suppose the essential difference is that ultimately God is more concerned about who we are than what we do. For instance, the reason we need repentence is not just because of the evils we have done, but because of the evil that we are. Sin comes from the heart. By nature we are twisted, cruel, beings. And the God of justice must destory evil. Then when Christ has redeemed us with His blood, and transformed us, and made us alive. Now we are saved not because of the good things we do, but because of Who Christ is, and who He is making us. His main concern is not an improvement of our actions, even though that is important, it is about the quality of our character, transforming it so that it brings Him glory.

     All of this occured to me a while ago when I was pondering about how cool it would be to be a martyr. A lot of people look at me funny when I say things like that, but I honestly think that it is the most wonderful way to die. There is nothing more noble, more honourable, than surrendering life itself to bring glory to God. But as I thought about it, I felt my conscience hammering me with the thought of: “That’s great that you’re willing to die for Him. But are you willing to live for Him too?” 

     That’s when God taught me that if I do not live for Him in the ordinary circumstances of life, than I will not have the character to die for Him in extraordinary circumstances. To live is Christ. Every moment of every day. Live for Christ when that punky teenager cuts you off on the road. Live for Christ when you are work. Live for Christ when you are at school. It is difficult, but it is worth it.


About Jonathon Thigpen

I am a student, writer, photographer, traveler, teacher, and Lego enthusiast, who is endeavouring to be a man after God's own heart.
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4 Responses to Live.

  1. rodeo4christ says:

    I first read this on my way home from a youth retreat in Arkansas, and it really excited me because it tied in with two things from camp.
    ~1. One morning we had a teaching on wisdom. Part of wisdom is being willing to learn from the people God has put in authority over us, which includes… wait for it… SCHOOL! :0 Part of being willing to learn and gain wisdom from school is the willingness to work and do our best at it. If we go to school and we’re just slacking, we’re not going to gain anything from it. Part of wisdom is the search for knowledge, and if we’re not even trying to retain knowledge that is literally being thrown in our faces, how are we to become wise?
    ~2. This is not particularly camp related, but I did find a bit of time to read a bit of Mere Christianity while I was there.
    “For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves,’ to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good.’ We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way – centered on money or pleasure or ambition – and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do.” (From the chapter is Christianity Hard or Easy?) Matthew 6:33 ~ “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we seek God and his righteousness first, we are putting aside what we want, and we stop trying to “be good,” because we are in earnest and we are not just trying to prove to people that we are Christians by what we do. And in the seeking, we allow God to transform us into someone more like Him than we could be in all our “being good.” And it is then that “all these things will be added unto you.”
    And yes, I completely agree that God cares more about who we are than what we do. As the only one who tries to keep the peace between herself and all her siblings, I tried to act like I liked them… But as I sarcastic person, they could generally tell that I was faking and that I generally wished they would all disappear (not permanently, but at least for a while), because the sarcasm would bleed through. And it’s not that it caused fights/arguments between us, but it does happen to keep us from getting close because I would use sarcasm as a defensive mechanism to keep them away. But at camp there was a breakthrough (or two, actually) in me, and I can see the difference between my siblings and I already!
    I’m done now. You can have your blog back 😉

    • Well, thanks a great deak for the great response, Ms. Lindsey! So glad to hear that God’s been teaching you some awesome things these days! A very good point about school. I often have to remind myself of the same thing. It’s rather difficult sometimes.
      Ah I love ‘Mere Christianity’ so very much. That certainly is some excellent insight right there! Good stuff.
      And that is so awesome to hear about what God’s been up to with you and your siblings! I love it!
      I’ll be praying that He continues to do awesome things!
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Monex says:

    ……………..To live centered on Christ is the difference between the LIFE that God desires for us and just living life with faith being a part of it. When we live like this we may think that we are ok and that we have a balanced life but this is not the Life that Jesus has for us. When our relationship with Christ is the center it will impact every area of life and that is what it was meant to be like!.So how do we do it?

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