STOP — Philippians 1:21-30
Paul mentioned that his hope (verse 20) that whether by his life or death he would have the courage to bring honor to Jesus. He saw that he had two paths before him. If he continued to live he would be able to continue the work Jesus gave to him to do. If he died he would go to be with Jesus. Paul did not know which to desire. To live meant that he could continue to teach and encourage people to follow Jesus, but to die meant he could experience the delight of being in heaven with Jesus.
As Paul waited to see what would happen he urged the Philippians to live as citizens of heaven (not just as citizens of Rome) so they could live lives that were worthy of the Gospel. To live this type of life required that they live united as they lived and proclaimed the Gospel. They would need unity and courage because they too would face suffering because of Jesus.
We need the commitment and courage to live by faith because of the hardships that will come our way.
- The dilemma for Paul was real. He loved people and wanted to see them become part of the Kingdom. He also was tired of the suffering he had experienced and was ready to be with Jesus.
- As long as we are alive in this world we need to remember that we have a job to do: make disciples. No matter what we need to continue to do what we can, that includes giving, praying, and living a faithful life.
- Paul urged the Philippians to live as citizens of heaven. As residents of Philippi they were also citizens of Rome. That was an honor, but Paul wanted them to understand their greater citizenship was to Heaven. They were to live the way God wants His people to live: with love, joy, peace, gentleness...and the rest.
- The Philippians were granted the privilege of suffering for Jesus. Why is this a privilege? It means that they were living in such a way that the powers of the world wanted to oppose them. When we live as citizens of Heaven, the powers of this world will oppose us. They do not want the light of our lives to shine in the darkness they have created.
Lord, grant me the courage and the faith to live a life that is worthy of Jesus.
Tomorrow: Philippians 2:1-4