Thursday, August 27, 2009

8/28- Philippians 1:22-26 Meaning to Life and Death

(Egnatian Way-ancient Roman road of Paul's day. This marker in Philippi Paul may have seen- to depart or stay?)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

8/28 Philippians 1:22-6

22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

22- “Living in the body”- Some in despair and confusion wonder if they ought to prolong their life and their misery, or to terminate their troubles by death. Paul, on the other hand, says that he has a spirit of contentment so that he is well prepared for death or life. Both are blessed when we believe so that we don’t know which is better to choose.
23- “I am torn between the two”- Paul’s object in desiring to live is promoting the glory of Christ, and doing good to the brothers and sisters. Paul’s concern is for the Philippians. This is in reality what it means to live and die to Christ- when we are indifferent to ourselves and allow ourselves to be borne away wherever Christ calls us. “to depart and be with Christ”- Persons in despair have a desire to depart to escape their weary life. But believers, on the other hands, willingly hasten forward to it, because it is deliverance from the bondage of sin, and an introduction to the kingdom of heaven. Those who are Christian in name only are rendered almost lifeless in fear at the mention of death. Unbelievers speak of death as the destruction of human beings. Paul explains death as the separation of the soul from the body. The soul does not sleep when it is separated from the body- but we enjoy Christ’s presence on being set free from the body (cf. II Cor. 5:6). 26- “your boasting of Christ” – It is not “boasting through Christ” but “boasting in Christ.”

Thought: Paul sees value in life and in death, while many see no value in either life or in death. If we know how to die, we will have perspective on how to live. Paul’s purpose is to fulfill his calling by God. His calling is now to remain with them and to help them in their faith. Some are called to go on to the next life. We should always be willing to listen and to respond, “wherever he leads I’ll go.”

Prayer: Thank you Lord, that you give meaning both to life and death. Help us to go where you want us to go and be the person you made us to be.

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