Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I remember reading that verse when I was young and wondering what on earth Paul’s problem was that he took dying so lightly. Clearly, I did not understand! Paul took living seriously! He had been close to death many times being beaten and stoned, but it didn’t make him waver in what his mission in life was. He had been on the other side and had persecuted Christians until he encountered Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior and then everything about Paul changed and his drive was to let the world know that the Messiah had come and he wanted them to know Him.
Too often we want to relate the day that those Christians lived in, to the days that we do, and here in the United States even though we have had multitudes of freedoms taken away and you can see more coming, our freedom of religion is still here and we are free to worship or not worship as we choose. Now, there were some churches in some states that experienced their state government taking that from them during the “pandemic”, but overall we have a freedom that we too often take for granted. In Paul’s day, Christians were being killed for their beliefs in Jesus. I am sure the Christians in some countries right now, like Afghanistan, can relate to what they were facing. The statement Paul was making here was that His goal was to live for Jesus and share Jesus above all else even if it meant death because death meant he would then be in Jesus’ presence and what better place to be? He couldn’t be wishy-washy in His faith. He had to take God at His word and stand on that! He had to choose to allow his faith to run deeper than anything else in order to live the life he did.
We may not, or some of you may live in fear of being killed for our faith in God, but our focus needs to be the same. Our time here is short and we need to focus on Jesus and ask Him to help us daily live lives that will draw others to Him. Paul was driven to tell the lost about God ~ that was his passion. He understood where they were headed.
Maybe today you are facing a terrible storm in life and you are so consumed with it all that you can’t see straight and you are thinking, “Janet, I don’t have the energy for one more thing in my life right now, I am just trying to survive the day.” That’s ok, but I would like to encourage you to live through every single day with the hope that is only found in Jesus! Carry Acts 17: 27-28a, “God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.” God is not far from you and He wants to walk with you and guide you in all that you do! He doesn’t want you to just survive your day, He wants you to thrive in it no matter what else is going on so others will see Him. He loves you! Live for Him every single day regardless of what else is going on and He will give you the strength and wisdom for your journey.
Spend some time today asking God how you can draw closer to Him and how you can better live for Him so others will be drawn to Him and accept Him as their Savior! Trust Him as you follow Him that He has a plan and He wants to guide you into all He created you to be!
Quote: “Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~ Mac Anderson