I found a really good site that breaks down the entire meaning of this popular verse. Check it out here. I know this verse puzzles people at times. Heck, it's puzzled me at times - especially when it says to die is to gain. Here is a good way to look at that part of the verse:
"To die is gain" is a productive sequence to "to live is Christ." If Christ is everything that makes life worthwhile then meeting him in death will even be a more valuable experience yet. It will make him more alive. Death removes the veil of knowing Jesus from afar to meeting him face to face. Death will usher us into his very presence. Death, therefore, should be computed as a friend.
For many, death is an enemy. It is destructive and a great loss. For the person who anticipates meeting Jesus face to face it is a "gain." If we are consumed with money as the object of our lives death would have to be placed on the debit side of our assessments. Death plunges us into a pathetic end. For Paul, death was not a dark, bleak termination of the dynamics of life but the beginning of even a greater life.
I hope everyone has a great Sunday. No Panthers football this week for me so I'll be spending the time w/ my girls. I think we're going to try and trade in more clothes at Once Upon a Child and see if we can find them something they can use with the store credit. Maybe if I have some extra time I'll get around to doing another baseball card related post!