To Die Is Gain?

Last week a fellow Austinite was shot while jogging in Benghazi, Libya. Ronnie Smith and his young family moved to Libya 18 months ago so he could teach chemistry at an international school.



If you have not read about the incident you can read about it from the mainstream media here.

Why would anyone risk their life and their family’s? Most people are aware that Libya is a hotbed for violence just like many other places in the world. Yet, people and families continue to choose to live and work in these locations.


We read nearly every day about some extremist blowing himself up in a terrorist act. That is not what this young man did.

He died out of a love and passion for a people in need. Quite the opposite motivation.

I dare say that this Bible verse was his motivation:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.Phil 1:21 NASB

Some of you are asking what in the world that means.

The author was the apostle Paul who understood that during his time on this earth his life belonged to Christ. If and when he died, his gain was eternal life with Christ.

The ultimate Kingdom mentality. Same as the young man shot and killed in Benghazi.

If we understand what we gain as a Christ follower when we die, then we choose to live our life on this earth differently.

Fear is not a strong enough emotion to avoid risking all that we have here.

I encourage you to read a blog post written by John Piper about this Ronnie Smith—When We Send a Person to His Death. It might help you understand.

Also, please consider supporting financially Ronnie’s wife and young son. To support them go here. You can also buy a book written by Ronnie—The History of the Redemption. Proceeds from this book will also help support his family.

What do you believe in so strongly that you are willing to give your life for? Are there things in this world that you die to daily?



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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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