Choices are not always a bad versus a good. Sometimes we have two good choices and we just can’t have both or maybe can’t have both right now. It may be the job opportunity, the family vacation, Christmas plans or a plethora of other things. It is in these moments you need to carefully weight out the choices before, praying and ultimately deciding what is best for you and your family. We make hundreds of choices everyday, those seem to come to us quickly, it is the major life choices that can change everything.
For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying! Philippians 1:21-25
Paul here in prison is not a man contemplating suicide. He is verbally or in writing weighing out what it means to make his choice to either just give in to his situation and the result would mean death, or to live. As a follower of Christ, he knows that once life ceases here it does not just cease to exist anymore, he understood that to be absent from this body on earth was to be with the God he loves. So, in his circumstance to go from a stank prison cell to the presence of God was looking pretty good.
As we read we recognize the passion in Paul’s heart for other believers. Not just other believers but opportunities to reach the lost. He saw the big picture and how his life, even in prison, was impacting others to grow in their faith. In these few verses we see the though pattern of Paul as he weighed out his choices and quickly the obvious came clear to him.
If you like me you have seen many believers in much better circumstances then Paul who look in rough shape. They are free yet there is bondage that has them in a prison of their own making. Maybe it is doubt, a poor self worth or something holding them down. They have a choice to make, live in that prison and eventually die, or live a life of encouragement, passion and love.
Maybe you need to make a choice like I made, no matters what the circumstance I am going to praise God. The passion I desire may not be bubbling up inside like I desire but I know that things are shaking up and will explode soon. I need to keep pushing forward in my faith, keep praying, reading, seeking God and the Holy Spirits power. I know that if it never explodes, I am founded in the hope of Jesus, I have a relationship with the Creator God. No one can take that from me. No one can take it from you once you have submitted your life to him and started a personal relationship.
Father, like Paul we have a choice to make, lay down and die or live with expectations. We want to be like Paul passionate about reaching others, being used to love our brothers and sisters in the faith. Let your love overflow our hearts, give us a fresh passion for reaching the lost. We want our lives to reflect you and be a light to the world around us. Amen