Summary: EOLS: God calls us to live in Him, where Jesus is exalted and our joy overflows to others .
To Live is Christ!
(19) for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
(20) I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted 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 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 joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
EOLS: God calls us to live in Him, where Jesus is exalted and our joy overflows to others .
The big points: Pray, Live, Expect, Joy
Recently I saw advertised on a church sign “keep your eyes on Heaven in Two Thousand Eleven.” While that makes a rhyme and slogan, I want to tell you who are born again; those of you whose priority is Christ…Don’t do that!
Heaven is wonderful, and Heaven is real. One day when Christ returns to this earth we will all be changed and the New Heaven and Earth revealed. Right now we believe that those who have departed in Christ are in His presence experiencing joy in Heaven, and that we will be reunited with them one day. Thank God for that Blessed Hope!
But right here, right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We haven’t finished what God has called us to do. I don’t want to go to Heaven until then. I’m looking forward to some things!
Paul, writing from prison in Rome to the saints at Philippi was facing the possibility of his own death, and it could happen soon. Looking back we know that these words were written some four to six years before he would be called upon to give his life for his faith, consigned to beheading on Nero’s chopping block. But in his mind he knew it was close, and it could happen any day.
Writing from a prison cell, probably in Rome, He writes to people who are worried that he won’t live through this, and he himself begins to ponder his own life and the possible imminence of his death. Remember that he writes by the Holy Spirit in this letter that has been preserved for our teaching.
Paul grapples with the issues surrounding his pending death. Should he just consign himself to it? Or should he actively battle against it and anticipate productive life ahead?
I hear folks around me at times going on and on about how bad the world has become. Some people are even hesitant to have children because the way society is going. What gets my goad is when I hear Christians becoming afraid of the year 2012 because of some alleged ancient Mayan prophecy! You’ll hear me talk about that foolishness from time to time (and now may well be a good time!)
Dear friends, God has called us to do one thing on this earth, and that is to LIVE. He has called us to occupy this territory until Christ comes again. We are to be influencers and redeemers of the culture, we are to lead. Every day of our lives is important and we have a reason to be here until the time that God does call us home.
God never calls us to give up. Paul discovers in his writing that it would be selfish to give up and give in to defeat. It would be great gain for him to die and be with Christ, but he would leave spiritual children behind who needed him desperately at that time.
When you give up, you’re thinking of no one but yourself. Look around, someone is depending on you. Someone is looking to you to lead them by your example, to teach them, to be with them. Someone needs the joy that you can provide.
Let’s take a look at this passage and see how the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit thought about his circumstances. He was imprisoned at Rome, and facing martyrdom. Yet he writes an epistle that still teaches and encourages our hearts this day.
Prayers of Deliverance (verse 19)