A Passage and A Prayer 2/6/19

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 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. 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. (Philippians 1:21-26).

When we find ourselves in a challenging situation, we look for the quickest way out.  It’s the natural thing to do.  We relieve pain.  We remove stress.  We avoid conflict.  We seek the situations that are more comfortable.  We strive toward the relationships that are more friendly.  Who wouldn’t?

Paul didn’t.  Paul was an enemy of the Christian Church.  He persecuted the followers of Jesus, imprisoning them and even calling for their death.  Things changed the day he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Jesus presented Himself to Paul, proving that He is the Messiah—the crucified and risen Savior. 

Paul became a missionary, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ into towns and homes and hearts of people throughout Asia Minor.  Through many and great hardships Paul endeavored to share the Good News of faith and forgiveness in Jesus.  It was because of this mission work that Paul found himself imprisoned with the possibility of being executed.

Paul was not really threatened by the thought of being put to death.  He knew his mission was good and right.  He also knew that Jesus would take him to heaven.  As Paul thought about it, he wrote to the Christians in the City of Philippi, that he longed to be with Jesus in the perfections and the joys of heaven.  But, he also felt called by the Lord to continue his work among believers and unbelievers.

The true sacrifice for Paul was to remain in this world that opposed his message.

We are called to that exact same sacrificial life.  It is not always easy to live our faith in the daily world, but we are called to do just that.  While we journey through this imperfect world, we are called to let the light of Christ shine in each of our relationships.  We are called to make a difference in the lives of others by simply living our God-given faith.

I can’t wait to go to heaven and be with Jesus and my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith.  But, until that time the Lord has ordained for me, I continue to live for Him.

Gracious Jesus, You know that challenges of this world.  You know the difficulty of living the faith in a world that rejects You.  Give to me such a faith that I would find it a pleasure to live my faith in each of my relationships.  I pray this in Your name and to Your glory.  Amen.

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