Text: Philippians 1:22-26
Conflict of God’s servant
- …yet what I shall choose I wot not… (vs 22) means Paul doesn’t know which way to go; there is great personal benefit in death, but there is benefit to others in continued living here.
- Not every Christian, but every faithful, serving Christian feels the way Paul feels about death. While a faithful Christian will bear fruit in this life, the personal gain is much greater when this vile body is removed.
- 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
- Personal testimony
- This is a unique perspective among God’s servants
- Not everyone has this perspective. Proverbs 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
- Paul said to live is Christ and to die is gain for him. But others may say to live is fame and to die is to be forgotten. To live is to accumulate riches and to die is to lose those riches.
- Complete victory in serving the Lord Jesus Christ
- Not only does Paul tell the Philippian churches that he’s not bothered by his arrest and imprisonment, but he is encouraged by what God’s been able to do with it, and furthermore he has no fear of death but is fully ready to go home and be with his Savior.
- The only occupation in this life that has no failure rate is service to God Almighty.
- You say, yea but sometimes people serving the Lord get discouraged. You know who else gets discouraged, people who don’t serve the Lord. Serving the Lord means complete victory and every grief is so temporary it’s hardly worth thinking about.
- Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
- Hebrews 12:16-17 Now you think about what Jacob inherited and what Esau lost for a morsel of meat. When Esau realized it, it was too late. The sooner you realize this world is a piece of meat compared to the inheritance you’ll give up to get it, the happier you’ll be.
- The soul prepared for whatever comes in this life is the servant of God who has said I’ll pass on the morsel of meat, but I’ll take that inheritance!
Continuing in this life
- Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. For your furtherance and joy of faith… (vss 24-25)
- Paul hasn’t been taken to heaven because he is useful in helping others grow.
- Now think about it, if God left you here, didn’t take you to heaven immediately, because he wants to use you to help sinners get saved and saints to become more fruitful, but…:
- But instead of using that time to serve the Lord you spent your days fiddling with this world. So God not only puts up with you not fulfilling any purpose of His…
- But, He also knows exactly what inheritance you’re giving up for this morsel of meat you’re exhausting yourself for.
- Ephesians 4:8, 11-13 God’s supply is for His work.
- You say I don’t feel like God listens to my prayers. Well, do your prayers have anything to do with what God is doing?
- You say I don’t get anything out of church. Well, possibly because God doesn’t get anything out of you in His church.
- If God supplies His work where there is need and your testimony is I’m not getting anything from God that sounds like there is no need there. You aren’t doing anything with what He’s given you, so He isn’t giving you anything else.
- If you’re a new creature in Christ, old things are passed away, all things are become new, and that new life now revolves around perfecting the saints, the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ, but your life has little if anything to do with that then one of two things is true:
- You actually have no new life in Christ and you’ve just sprinkled Jesus on an old life like a Catholic or a Baptist or a Presbyterian would do.
- Or you’re spinning your wheels, burning up whatever inheritance you might have on things that won’t matter when your dead.
- The positive side is what you’re reading here with Paul.
- While we complain about the luxuries of life and covet things we don’t have, Paul sits in jail content, joyous, prayerful, happy. He found where the joy is. The Philippians found where the joy in this life is.
- You’re looking for what will make you happy. Now, here it is before your eyes, someone in the worst conditions. In prison for doing right, possibly under a death sentence, unable to pursue any personal life goals so to speak, and above all HAPPY.
- What makes him happy? Serving the Lord Jesus Christ!
Companionship in Christ
- rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ…
- We find our rejoicing in so many other things that don’t matter.
- Church as an army heading out with the gospel and covering Beeville.
- Maybe you can’t do door to door because you have trouble walking. That’s fine, but don’t let that stop you from serving the Lord. If you can pray, make it a point to pray if that’s what you can do.
- Fellowship is in the trenches, in the fields.