“Yes, and I will rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
The youth group I help lead is doing a series on Philipians this month, so I thought in order to better teach them, I would revisit Philipians this month. This is my favorite passage from the first chapter. In it, Paul is imprisoned and discussing the two possible outcomes of his circumstances. He may die there, or somehow be released and live. What is interesting, is that he finds both options to be desirable. If he dies he considers it a great joy as he will be with Jesus in heaven. If he lives, he knows he will have the he can further preach the Good News and save more souls. I think many Christians get caught up in the personal side of their faith, and forget the joy in living to bring others to the salvation of Christ. Its not to say one is more important than the other, but that the joy of knowing Christ and your salvation should bring about the will to spread that here on earth. What would the world look like if more people had the attitude of Paul? Neither fearing death nor life, but rejoicing in both for the love of Jesus Christ. I feel as though if I could dwell on this thought even just minutes out of the day I could change my surroundings and deepen my faith, let alone hours or entire days. Just something I have been thinking about today.