Philippians 1:21-26 – “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know 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 in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.” NASU
Years ago as I traveled from place to place in itinerant ministry I would frequently hear a late night radio preacher saying, “You can’t lose with the stuff I use.” In a sense that is what Paul is saying here. He declares that if he lives in the flesh (natural) it is ‘in Christ’ and if he dies it is ‘gain’. That is a NO LOSE situation. He declares that if he lives in the flesh the result will be ‘fruitful labor’. If he dies he receives his eternal promotion to heaven and being with the Lord. It weighed heavily upon his heart.
One of the messages conveyed here is – – We should live longingly for heaven but devotedly to ministering to people. That keeps the focus clear, our hearts right, and provides motivation to keep us engaged and involved. Very few generals are needed in war and Paul served as a general but also a soldier.
My life must not be about me but Him and people. God has given to the church ministries to inspire and prepare believers to do the work of ministry. The Great Commission is always a core tenant. Building up one another always a function and seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness always a priority. We do not live just to live we live with purpose and for a purpose.
If you keep your focus on God you desire will be heaven and will live functionally to serve, equip, train, encourage, motivate, and bless others. You will have a life that cannot lose! So as the late night radio preacher of old said, “You Can’t Lose with the Stuff I Use!” In Christ, we are more than conquerors and we are victors. We can do all things through Him! With Jesus, you cannot lose!
God be with you, go with God and He will go with you. Blessings!