By Pamela Rose Williams
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” — Philippians 1:21
Paul was a prisoner when he wrote to the church at Philippi. Though he was imprisoned this letter is written with much joy to a church that sent him a generous love offering. In this opening chapter of his most personal letter he goes on to share the paradox that I think many believers face. That is how we seem to be stuck between two worlds … this one where we have much work for Christ to do and the next, where we will be forever with the Lord. He says in a later passage “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1:23-24)
I think I can understand what Paul is saying. As time goes on and I spend more time in this world I look forward to Heaven. I dream about seeing Jesus face-to-face. I look forward to no more tears and perfect eyesight! No headaches and crowns on my head. I long to sing with the angels and cast those crowns at my Savior’s feet.
But also I look forward to spending time with my brothers and sisters here on earth — even with my children and their children. I look forward to times when I can sit and read to my grandchildren and teach them Bible songs. I look forward to times when I can worship in church with my grown children and hear their sweet voices singing out loud because they love the Lord. I love making memories and planning for the future.
We should desire the things of Heaven even while we spend time here in our temporary dwelling. And the closer you walk with the Lord, the more you look forward to Heaven. It is like being homesick because as believer’s we are bound for that perfect place where our Father lives — HOME.
We live for Christ because He died for us. How appropriate is it then that Paul should make such a wonderful proclamation. Christ is life and when we are in Christ we have all the gain that we need.
Things to Think about and Do:
1. Think about how you are spending your time here on earth. Write down 3 ways that you can be a more effective ambassador for Christ.
2. Name one Christian song that makes you think about Heaven.
3. Consider this … if you were met with the choice to live for yourself or die for Jesus, what would you do. Really … what would you do?