Daily Devotion (146): Tuesday 11th August 2020: Gripped by Christ
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as 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 honoured in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour 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. 24 But 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, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Devotion: Gripped by Christ
For Paul, Jesus meant everything.
He loved Christ, and Paul wanted to serve Jesus for all the time that he had on earth, and he was joyfully looking forward to being with Jesus in Heaven.
Such was Paul’s love for Jesus that he famously said ‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’
Paul knew that all the while he was alive on earth he had a job to do – to serve Jesus, to live for Him. For Paul, that meant leading and teaching the new Christian communities that he, and his helpers, had set up – which is why he wrote this letter to the Christians living in Philippi.
But Paul also knew that, because of his faith in Jesus and all that Jesus had done for him, Heaven awaited him. And what makes Heaven so wonderful is being with Jesus. As a result, Paul can’t wait to get there. He looks forward to that day, for Heaven is a ‘far better’ place.
This is a wonderful view to have of this life, and of the life to come – a life with Jesus at the centre.
A life serving Jesus in whatever way we can, in whatever roles He’s given us, and in whatever positions He’s put us in. But serving Jesus in the present whilst looking forward to our eternal home, and finally being with Him.
Whatever roles, tasks, jobs and callings we are undertaking today, let’s commit them to Jesus, let’s do them for Him, and let’s do them in His strength and for His glory.
And as we do them, let’s keep our eyes on our eternal future, where, through faith in Him, we will be with Him for ever.
And, when this life is hard and painful, what a wonderful reassurance it is to know that our eternal home will be ‘far better’ – safe with Jesus for ever.
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