For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Personalize today’s verse by filling in the blanks: “For to me, to live is __________, and to die is __________.” If you put wealth in the first blank, dying brings not gain but loss. The same is true if you selected prestige, fame, power, or possessions because none of those things remains after death: prestige is lost, fame is forgotten, power is useless, and possessions are taken by others. For today’s verse to make sense as Paul wrote it, only Christ can fill the first blank. Otherwise, death is inevitably a loss.
Some who read this will say they put Christ in the blank. But if they think about it carefully, they will realize that what they really meant was Christ plus wealth, Christ plus power, or Christ plus possessions. Christ can’t share the first blank with anything else. Those who truly live for Christ have no fear of death and make the best use of life—in both they glorify Christ.