Paul was absolutely certain that God’s promises would work out to be true. He had complete confidence that all the things that happened to him would eventually work out for the best and that in the end he would “dwell 26 kresge (2)in the house of the Lord forever.” He was unwavering in his conviction. It didn’t matter to Paul whether God would be glorified in his death, or if God would be glorified in his life. He just knew that God would be glorified and that was all that mattered to Paul. I would argue that’s what Philippians 1:21 means, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” No matter what the outcome of his imprisonment, God would be glorified, the Gospel would be advanced, and Christ would be lifted up. This is the only thing that mattered to Paul. It was at the very center of his being.

Stanley Kresge was the founder of what is now K-Mart. He was a lifelong church member in Detroit, and a man who lived his faith. He always said money was to be a servant and not a master. A devout Christian, Kresge gave away hundreds of millions of dollars. He died of a heart attack at the age of 85 while on his way to attend a friend’s funeral. He never let it be known how much of his personal fortune he gave away saying, “I’d be embarrassed to have anybody think I was bragging about charity. I do it for the sake of Jesus Christ, not for mine.” Maybe this explains why all of his check payments for charitable contributions were signed, “In the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, Stanley S. Kresge.”

I had the pleasure of meeting Stanley Kresge in 1981 at Detroit Bible College at the dedication of “Kresge Chapel.” The student body purchased a special Bible to present to him as a gift and I was one of several who had the privilege of signing that Bible. A couple days later, I found a small personal note from him in my student mailbox. It was simple but said, “thank you for signing my Bible.” He signed it “Stanley S. Kresge” and then wrote “Gal. 2:20.” In that passage Paul says more about what it means to live for Christ. “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Bob Pierce said, “We cannot decide whether or not we will live or die; we can only decide what we will die for.”