22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
“Worth Dying For”
"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). Hemmed in on all sides by the grace of God, being placed in Christ and having Christ living in him, Paul knows he is covered not just in life but in death as well. When God promises life to those who trust Him, He gives eternal life. (Refer to the above text.)
Elsewhere Paul says, "If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:19). There is a greater day coming, a greater reward coming, a greater life coming, and the purpose of life while we are alive is to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel, which holds the promise of life everlasting.
Jesus says, "Even if you die, you will live" (John 11:25, authors translation). For those united to Christ by faith, death has no sting and no victory (1 Corinthians 15:55). In fact, to be present with the Lord is better than life!! The great preacher Dwight Moody once quipped, "Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than i am now."
Death is a homecoming for the Christian. Paul sees it as gain because he sees it as the reward of offering himself as a living sacrifice on this side of the veil. So in prison, Paul is saying, "It would be better to go home." And in the comfort and opulence of Lydia's house, he's saying, "It would be better to go home."
Can you say the same thing? Can you honestly say that it would be better to die and go to heaven, than to stay here on earth? Do you treasure and value Jesus so supremely that you would be willing to give up everything and everyone on this planet, in order to see Jesus face to face? What are things that you would fear to let go? Spend some time in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to peel back the veil so you can see Jesus as he is, the truly most beautiful thing in all of existence.
*These devos are taken from Matt Chandler's book, To Live is Christ To Die is Gain.