Word-y Gifts for Christian Faith & Life

What does Christ mean to you?

We live in a world that tells us that faith is only a part of our lives, and we are to put it in its place. That often means treating it like a tool that we pull out of the drawer occasionally, use and return before going back to “real life” and its demands. The Apostle Paul had a different view.

In one of the most quoted verses in the New Testament, Paul pithily declares the core of Christian life—“for me to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). He wrote these words while in jail contemplating whether he would live or die. He wasn’t concerned about the outcome because to him either was a victory: living meant having more opportunities to serve Christ and dying meant being with Christ.

To Paul, Christ was everything. Christ had been the beginning of his new life, the inspiration behind his work, and the source of his strength. It was for Christ’s name and glory that he worked tirelessly. Not only did Paul long to know Christ, he was also willing to suffer for him (Phil. 3:10). And at the end of his life, Paul was looking forward to seeing Christ because to him Christ was the ultimate reward.

It’s clear from his letters that Paul had a demanding view of Christian life. To him, the relationship between Christ and the believer was like that between air and the human being. The human needs air and cannot avoid it. Breathing sustains human life, and there is no setting it aside because to do so is to begin the process of death. Paul was simply saying: to the Christian, Christ is everything.

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