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October 9 – Paul’s great comfort in life or in death

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21 

Scripture reading: Philippians 1:19-26 and Romans 8:31-39

Our text is one of the most glorious confessions of the apostle, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” When we read it in the context of vs.19-20, we see that Paul didn’t know what was going to happen to him. Yes, he believed he would be delivered, as he says in v.19, but how? Whether in life or in death? And yet, notice his willingness to suffer for Christ! There’s no hesitation! This is a man who desires to serve God in any way so that Christ may be “magnified” before the world! Basically, Paul says, “Your will be done, O Lord!”

As Christians, those words should be found on our lips, especially, in this present age, where Christianity and the church are under attack like never before. Regardless of what we go through, no matter the hardships or trials, we have Christ and Christ has us. So what do we have to fear? How can we lose our joy, or how can we lose our comfort? We “belong” to Christ, do we not? (Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 1, Q&A 1) And that includes not only in this life, but when we die! For then we enter our reward and look forward to the great resurrection of the dead and the restoration of all things at the return of our Lord! Paul had no fears about this life because he knew God kept his life eternally secure!

Suggestions for prayer

Let it be our desire to magnify Christ in all of life! Be assured that the Holy Spirit will give you what you need for your service to Christ, in life or in death.

Rev. Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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