The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 12 September 2019 – To Live Is Christ And To Die Is Gain
TOPIC: To Live Is Christ And To Die Is Gain
READ: Philippians 1:19-30 King James Version (KJV)
19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,
26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
In the African setting, a mother never really has a time she can call rest time in her life. All through her life, she is caring for family members. From husband to children, to grandchildren and other relations, she is always pouring out her life to care for others. Likewise, Paul was more concerned for the welfare of the saints than himself. In this passage, he had a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. On a second thought, he said to abide in the flesh is more needful for you for your joy of faith and rejoicing in Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:24-25). Just as Paul gave up himself to the Lord, whether living or dying, so are we expected to do for the furtherance of the Gospel.
Walking in the footsteps of the Lord makes it easy to live the life of Christ. It is easier to serve well when your master or mentor is around.
The opposite may be the case. Paul’s concern for the saints is that at our different locations: (i) our Christian conduct should portray the Gospel of Christ in unity (ii) we should labour in spreading the Gospel (iii) suffer for Christ, and (iv) be courageous in the face of adversaries. We are admonished not to be eye-service Christians (Ephesians 6:6).
Prayer: Grant me Oh Lord, the grace and strength to live for You in every aspect of my life, whether in the secret or in the open.