by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).
If the advancement of the gospel is our life's ambition, we overcome many weaknesses that plague all human beings.
We overcome self-pity. Paul did not make a big deal of his personal unpleasant experiences when he was thrown into prison. He was merely happy that what had happened to him had served to advance the gospel.
We overcome personal pride. When Paul was in prison (facing torture or death or both), some ignoble preachers tried to stir up trouble for the apostle. They preached Christ "out of selfish ambition." But Paul said, "It doesn't matter; as long as Christ is proclaimed, I rejoice."
Perhaps most astonishing, we also overcome one of the greatest of all human fears—the fear of death. The gospel says that Christ is the crest of life. And death will be Christ-plus. To die is gain. For what keeps us from the full enjoyment of Christ and his blessings are the imperfections of our present life and the inherent limits of faith. When faith turns into seeing, we will be with Christ forever, and God will be our eternal delight.
When Christ is the secret of our lives, we overcome both the fear and the power of death. We have the victory.
Life is wonderful because it is Christ. The future is more wonderful, because it will be more of Christ.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version