1 February 2018

REFLECTION

Welcome to Thursday’s podcast. My name is Andy Rushworth

Our reading today is Philippians 1: 18b-26

Can you imagine Paul applying for a Pastor’s job in a church… filling out the application form and having to fill out the section “any criminal convictions?’… I doubt he would even make it to interview in this day and age.

This was not Paul’s final imprisonment in Rome. But he didn’t know that. Awaiting trial, he knew he could be released or executed.

Paul just wanted to be ready… His prayer was that he would speak courageously for Christ when the time came. He was on this occasion released but found himself two or three years later arrested again and thrown back inside. Only faith in Christ could sustain Paul on such a journey.

To those who don’t believe in God, life on earth is all there is, and so it is natural for them to strive for the world’s values… money… popularity… power…pleasure and prestige.

But for Paul… to live meant to develop eternal values and tell others about Christ, who alone could help them see life from an eternal perspective.

That’s why Paul could confidently say ‘For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”.

What perspective are you living with today? An earthly one? Or an eternal one?

The troubles of this world can so easily grind you down but keeping your eyes and mind on eternity has the opposite effect… you rise with wings of an eagle.

If you’re not ready to die for your faith… then you’re not ready to live!

PRAYER

Father God, Thank you for setting eternity in our hearts… may we this day be about your work and not chasing after the things of this world.

In Jesus name, Amen

READING: PHILIPPIANS 1:18b-26

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.