Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Philippians 1:22-26 (New International Version)
22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
Today’s verses are ones that it is helpful to look at a paraphrase.
22-26As long as I'm alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I'd choose. Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better. But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it's better for me to stick it out here. So I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God continues. You can start looking forward to a great reunion when I come visit you again. We'll be praising Christ, enjoying each other.
This comes from "The Message" and helps us understand. For Paul, living with Christ is the ultimate goal. So if he dies-he wins. However, if he dies he can no longer help his young churches. He feels Christ has given him the task to help, and even though that means a difficult earthly life, this is what he needs to do. Therefore, he tells the church at Philippi that he plans, or desires, to be around for a long time.
We also understand that heaven is a wonderful place and have this as our final goal. God has plans for us. Even though those plans may cause us short term pain and long term work we need to fulfill all we can while we live. As the old time trail riding cowboys used to say, "you can sleep during the winter." Our winter is eternity.
Prayer- Lord, gives us strength to do the tasks you want us to do here. We want badly to hang out with you. Remind us that by fellowship and ministry on earth-that is what we are doing. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.