Daily Devotional - Tuesday, March 9, 2021
“To me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” (Philippians 1:21-24)
For Paul, his purpose for being held only two options—living to share about Jesus with others or dying to share life eternal with Jesus. How rare that attitude is today! Too often we view this time on earth as the time to benefit me, me and me. Heaven is a far-off place that is given very little focus if any. If that is the case, we’ve gotten sorely off track. Our prospect of heaven is to provide us with a source of hope and joy that can’t be found on this planet because we know what awaits is far superior to anything this life has to offer. But, in all my years as a Christian, I have met only a handful of people who truly looked forward with anticipation to what was coming after death. Maybe it is because of the gateway to heaven through which we all must walk that makes us reticent—death. We should never, however, let the fear of death rob of us the joy that is set before us.
I’ll never forget the first time I met a believer who was eager to trade in this earthly life for a heavenly one. She wasn’t a senior, who having lived a full life was ready to discard a worn-out body for a new one. She wasn’t incapacitated or depressed or anxious, desperate for a way out of her pain. She was a young mom, who dearly loved her husband and three children; she had by all measures a good life, an enviable life. But she had something else I had not seen in anyone else up to that point—an understanding of how wonderful heaven was in comparison to anything else she could ever hope to attain. Heaven was where her Saviour was, and she was unhesitating in her desire to be with him.
Now there is a saying that, ‘we should not be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good’(quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.). While that is true, the opposite is equally true, ‘those who are too earthly minded, will never have room for the heavenly.’ Our friendship with Jesus should be shaped by the two realities that Paul had discovered, the two realities that left him feeling truly torn, “I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” Ultimately, we should all echo Paul’s words, “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die” (Philippians 1:20). Whether I live or die, may I do so for the One who makes my place in heaven secure. To Jesus be all the glory!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!