‘No pain, no gain’ has often been used in sports to describe an athlete's hunger to achieve greatness no matter what the cost. Pain is the way to obtain that greatness. Losing is not an option and gaining everything is all that matters.

Imagine now flipping the tables, where loss is everything and gain is not an option.

In our world, this would be deemed preposterous but, as true followers of Christ, we are to live by this upside down principle. We must lose sight of our self-centeredness, agenda and desires in order to gain Christ. Holiness and humility become ours as we die to ourselves in order to live for Christ.

Paul knew the critical nature of this ‘mantra’ in his day as he exhorted the saints at Philippi in today's verse. He had gone through the worst of circumstances, suffering both spiritual and physical trauma. He became a walking talking example of sacrifice for the gospel. To him, both possibilities, whether he lived or died, would be of incredible benefit because of his relationship with Jesus Christ and his obedience to him.

Even as I deeply and seriously contemplate today's Scripture, I am struck by its far-reaching implications. I long to live a life as Paul did. Without hesitation, keenly aware that I would win no matter what, whether in life or death.

As Christians, we are told to be fearless even in the face of death because we have an eternal home that awaits us after this earthly one John 14:1-4. Therefore, let us make the same declaration that Paul didn't shy away from living out. Our secure, eternal relationship with Jesus means that no matter what we lose, he is the reward we gain.

Precious Lord, I want to be someone who lives fully for you and has no fear of dying because that is of eternal advantage. Give me the same zeal Paul had in living out his days in every difficulty faced, looking forward to joining you in glory. It’s in your name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Throughout This Day: Take time to meditate on the severity of today's verse and make the same declaration that Paul did; that to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Tags: The Life Devo Philippians 1