Bible Reference: Philippians 1:20-24
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)
Bible Text: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!
OBSERVATION: We are often so sad over the death of a loved one, and rightfully so, for we worry about how we will survive everyday life without them. But in our Scripture today, Paul directs us to consider our value while alive and also after we move from this life to the next. Paul found it very challenging to determine if his life was more valuable here on earth, or with His heavenly Father. As we meditate, let’s not be concerned about what we could get out of either side of heaven, but rather, what we might give – for the sake of the Master.
APPLICATION: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those of us who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:
* Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our privilege, our honor, and our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
* Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ who lives inside of you with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
* I can be of more help to you by staying – Only Jesus Christ has power beyond the grave. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!
Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so use every opportunity with everyone you know, that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, and try to evangelize the lost, before it is eternally too late.
PRAYER: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You, I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, for this is my sincere and humble plea. It’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear Jesus, AMEN!