For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Studies have shown that mice that are fed a very low calorie diet live 30 percent longer than those that are fed a diet much higher in calories. The Calorie Restriction Society is now seeking to prove that such a diet will extend human life too. This society is composed of a group of volunteers who consume very little food, hoping to gain a few extra years on this earth. They aren’t deterred by the fact that the starving lab animals turned out to be unhappy and aggressive.
Human life is a gift from God. As Christians, we welcome medical research that seeks to improve our quality of life. We also value moderation. I don’t think the apostle Paul would agree with a group like the Calorie Restriction Society.
In today’s verses Paul tells his readers that he found ultimate meaning not in the length of his life but in his relationship with the Lord. Paul wrote this letter from prison. He didn’t know what his future held, and yet he trusted the risen Christ to carry him through any trial.
To live in the Lord and serve him is wonderful. And to die in the Lord is blessed, for death itself cannot rip us away from our Savior’s care. As we face up to our own mortality and that of our loved ones, our hope is rooted in the everlasting grip our Savior has upon his own.
God might grant us a longer or shorter life. But to be truly fulfilling and worthy, our life must be focused in Christ.
Father, thank you for the precious gift of life. Help us serve you ach day and to trust you forever, in Jesus. Amen.
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