Meditations on Philippians 1:21

Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 23rd September 2020.

Do you feel that the day to day of your life is mundane? As though your life is insignificant? Like nothing you do truly matters? Or maybe you’re simply too distracted or tired that you don’t have time to think. If so, you’re not alone.

As we meditate on God’s word, we’re reminded what we live for in the Christian life. We live for Jesus. As we read in Philippians:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

I’m not going to lie, my first thought in the morning is not Jesus. As my mind begins to warm up, my thoughts quickly turn to the day ahead. I’m a task-orientated person, so I often develop a mental checklist of my day. Maybe you can relate?

How the day unfolds, however, depends very much on how quickly I turn my day over into the hands of God? Will I live for Christ today? What does that mean, to live is Christ?

In Paul’s words, that “Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:20b) That is, the way we live will result in the praise and glory of Christ. How do we exalt Christ?

“…conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ … [standing] firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel…” (Philippians 1:27) As a starting point: Do we reflect the grace, mercy and love of Jesus in the way we live?

This starts in our heart. If Jesus isn’t exalted in our own hearts, then our thoughts and actions won’t follow. A simple act of worship each day aligns our heart.

Meditate on the words of God. Give even a moment of time to prayer. Raise your voice in song. Reflect on the awesome and wonderful character of God. Bathe in creation and the power of God. Worship turns our hearts to God. Then our thoughts and our actions will follow.

Out of worship, let us exalt Christ in our lives. Let us love our families, friends and the people around us for the glory of Jesus. Let us pursue grace and mercy in our relationships, our parenting, and our interactions with others. Let us work and study with integrity and wisdom as a reflection of the character of God. Let us exalt Jesus.

Yet, we cannot do this alone. As Paul says, we strive together as one for the faith of the gospel. Who are you striving with to live for Christ? Who are you striving with to help them live for Christ? It goes both ways. We need people to help us. We need to help others.

Above all, at the end of it all, when death knocks on our door, we’ve lost nothing in our earthly striving. In fact, we receive the fulfilment of it, we enter into the presence of Christ himself, which is better by far. So whether by life or by death, let us exalt Christ and live for him.

Let’s pray.


Heavenly Father, we praise you. Almighty God, all majesty belongs to you. Lord Jesus, Lord of mercy and grace, the lover of my soul, may your name be known through all heaven and earth. Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth and power, we glorify you. Father, Son, and Spirit; the Godhead, three in one, we exalt you.

Help us today as we strive to live for you. Turn our hearts towards you to pursue you. Shape our thoughts to your glory. Fill us with your love and grace, move our hands to serve you and the people you place around us. In all things, we pray we might exalt you today.

To the praise of your name, Lord Jesus, we pray these things, amen.