To live is Christ

‘It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.’  Philippians 1:20-26 (ESV)

It’s been a little bit over ten months since my surgery and the discovery of a cancerous mass growing on the outside of my colon.  At the time, death seemed very imminent … much more than today. And the verse, ‘To live is Christ, and to die is gain  proved to be very much a comfort in the midst of what was unfamiliar territory to me.

My embrace of ‘to die is gain’, while comforting to me, proved to be very annoying and irritating to my loved ones … and based on some further meditation of the above Scripture … I would say their annoyance and irritation was justified.

Take a look at this passage focused on just the ‘to live is Christ’  passages (I have omitted all the ‘to die is gain’ passages) … also I personalized it a bit as well.

‘It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body … by life …  For to me to live is Christ …  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me … to remain in the flesh is more necessary on my family’s account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my remaining with you.’

Don’t misunderstand me … I’m not suggesting that when it comes For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ one should embrace one or the other.  Quite frankly, I believe what Paul is teaching is that the believer must be ready and willing to honor Christ in both life and death.

And that is just one of many lessons learned in the last 10 months …

Thank you Lord!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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