Happy Monday! Have you ever been torn between two desires? You may have struggled with deciding on a good opportunity and struggled with one that seems equally as good – maybe even better. Today we will continue our reading in Philippians where Paul is torn between two desires. Enjoy today’s devotion and prayer. Have a wonderful day.
Bible Verse – Philippians 1:20-26 NLT
“20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.”
Whenever I read verse 21 in the NIV: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”, I couldn’t comprehend why Paul would consider death a gain. When reading the book of Acts and then Philippians, it is easier to understand a little bit more. Everything Paul did (in the book of Acts) from the time his sight was restored, after he was blinded on the Damascus road, was for Christ. The reason he was in prison was because of his love for Christ and desire to share the Good News with everyone who would hear. So to live would mean that he would continue with the purpose the Lord called him to, “Take the Lord’s message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.”(Acts 9:15-16). Paul continued to preach while in chains and probably converted 90% of the prisoners in prison and the prison guards, and he continued to write churches – ministering to them through written communication.
Paul wasn’t sure whether he would be set free or if he would die, but he knew he had to continue to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. He also found comfort in knowing when everything was said and done he did what the Lord asked of him and he would finally see our Lord and Savior face-to-face.
Sisters and brothers, we have been called too. The Lord has invited us to partake in His glorious plan. You have a role to play in the kingdom. What will you decide?
Questions to ponder over the week:
- Am I afraid to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others? ______ If yes, why? _______ Spend time praying about that fear and ask the Lord to remove that fear. If no, pray for God to give you boldness, humility and discernment to speak the truth about the Good News of Jesus Christ to others.
- How will your life bring honor to Christ in life or in death? What legacy will you leave behind? Will it point others to Christ?
- Will you help others to grow and experience the joy of your faith?
- What is the Lord asking of you? _______ Write it down pray over it every time you sit in prayer with the Lord. Ask him for guidance on the next steps and for boldness to proceed.
Trust God’s Plan for Your Life. The Lord has been faithful and he will continue to be.
Lord, let today be the day we choose you forever and for all eternity.
Father God we thank you for today. We thank you for guiding us through another week. Lord, we know so many people struggled last week and maybe we (myself and these readers) did too. Lord, will you renew our hearts, minds, and spirits today and refresh us with you – your presence and your Holy Spirit. Lord, thank you for the opportunity to follow you with our whole heart. Lord, forgive us of any sins (known and unknown) that have strayed us away from you. Lord, we surrender our lives and wills to be aligned with yours. Lord, come into our hearts and minds, and live within us. Lord, may our lives be a reflection of you working within us, transforming us, and leading us. Lord to live – we want ever breath we take going forward to be for you. Wherever we breath we want to point others to you through our actions, our words, and our love for you and our neighbors. Lord, when it is time to finally go home and see you face-to-face, we desire to hear well done good and faithful servant, so Lord help us to remain/abide in you as we seek to live out your purpose and plan for our lives in this temporary place. In Jesus name, amen.
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