Bible Reading: Philippians 1.20-21
I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. Jerry
According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1.20-21
Paul longed for Christ to be exalted in his body, whether by life or death (1.20). Christ was everything to Paul. Paul viewed Christ as better than anything in this life and that if he died he would gain the greatest of good, Christ (1.21). What is your view of life and death? For Paul it was all about Christ. If he stayed here it was all about fruitful labor in advancing the gospel. Paul considered his ministry to people the greatest joy in life. He loved to see the church progress and grow in joy when it came to their faith. Yet, if he died he got to see His Savior face to face.
DA Carson in his writing on Philippians shares a story of an aging Christian saying to the missionary John G. Paton as he was planning to go as a missionary to the South Sea Islands, You will be eaten by Cannibals! The man warned Paton. But Paton replied, Mr. Dickson, you are advance in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer (John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides: An Autobiography Edited by His brother, ed. James Paton New York: Revell, 1907; reprint, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965, 56).
May the gospel be supreme in all things whether in our relationships, prayers, aspirations, life or death.