The world and life in it are ridiculously difficult. The longer I am here, the more convinced I become that Heaven is going to be infinitely better. Nevertheless, we know we are on a mission for the Lord. We are called to be His witnesses throughout the entire journey He has planned for us.
I want you to know that I would not trade a second of my life here. One only needs to meet my family to understand how blessed I have been in so many ways. Still, the goal for anyone who has accepted Christ is to be in Heaven with the Lord.
Paul expressed his frustration in choosing to carry on. He knew that God called him to build the church across Europe and Asia. He felt that he was where God wanted him to be. However, as he lived chained between two guards in a palace cell, he had to long for those days when journied from church to church, witnessing lives being changed, and participating in the establishment and thriving of new churches. Paul was blunt when he said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Paul had let go of the life he had lived. He was fully committed. Whether he was in a cell or traveling to a Macedonian city, Paul knew he would never again feel at home on this earth.
As God’s chosen ones, we also need to release our hold on this life. We should live each day as if we are journeying toward home from a distant land. In this journey, we should cherish the gifts He gives us—family, purpose, friends, food, shelter, and any other form of wealth that the Lord entrusts to us.
However, like Paul, we must keep our eyes and hearts focused on the ultimate prize. We cannot allow the world and our love for it to disqualify or nullify the many gifts and ministries we have at our disposal.
Like Paul, we need to view life through a lens that reminds us that to live is Christ and to die is gain. If we do so, fears will dissipate, times spent with friends and family will become even richer, and our perspective on each and every aspect of our life will draw us closer to the reality that we are one day closer to being home.
God Bless You.
19 for I know that this will turn out for my [q]deliverance through your [r]prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
To Live Is Christ
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 [s]But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know [t]which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy [u]in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one [v]mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. 29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.