18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 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. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
“Worth Living For”
Paul uses the word worthy several times in his letters to the churches. In Ephesians 4:1, he writes about walking in a way that is worthy of God's call. In Colossians 1:10, he writes about walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, he writes about walking in a manner worthy of God. In 2 Thessalonians 1:5, he urges living in a way worthy of the kingdom of God.
What does this word worthy mean?
For Paul, it means ascribing worth. When he commands others to live in a "worthy" way, he means we should live in such a way that shows what we believe is of supreme worth. For Christians, it means living in such a way that Jesus is seen as big, that Jesus is seen as glorious. See, in the spiritual economy of Paul, God and His gospel are most important, not Paul and his well-being. Christ has so captivated Paul that Christ has become all to him. So when people preach Christ, whether in pretense or in truth, Paul rejoices that Christ is proclaimed. Though some mean to harm Paul, he considers his harm a fair trade for the opportunity to proclaim Jesus. It is spiritual stability, born of a gospel-focussed heart, that gives Paul peace and contentment-and yes, joy-no matter where he finds himself.
"In In prison," he says, "I'll rejoice. Living at Lydia's house, I'll rejoice. Either way, I'll rejoice."
In the logic of the Gospel, there are no alternatives to Christ. Every other option is no option at all. When everything considered valuable in your life is seen to be nothing in comparison to the glory of Christ, you learn rather well that Christ alone is worth living for. Christ alone is worthy of an entire life's affections and devotions. He is worthy of so much more, in fact, which is why Paul completes his declaration "to liv is Christ" this way: "to die is gain."
Answer this question for yourself. Remember God already knows the answer so there's no need to lie to yourself... What are you living for in life? What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you going through sickness and health?
*These devos are taken from Matt Chandler's book, To Live is Christ To Die is Gain.