Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:18-26

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” (Philippians 1:21,23,24)

I can relate to these words of Paul. The longer I have walked in faith, the more I long to go and be with Christ. I don’t think that most of us really understand how wonderful and glorious it will be to see Christ face to face in all His glory and beauty. We will experience the ultimate deliverance from the difficulties and trials that we experience here on earth. We will be set free from our struggle with sin and we will be reunited with loved ones who have preceded us in death. Paul had a strong desire to depart and be with Christ.

However, he knew that God was not finished with him on earth — “But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” God still had ministry for Paul to accomplish. As long as the Lord leaves us on earth, we still have ministry to accomplish. He has reasons for keeping us here. We may not know exactly what that ministry is, but God is not taking us to glory until He has finished with us on earth.

The wonderful news is — “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Either way I am safe and secure. As long as I am here on earth, I am to live my life for Christ. I am to be faithful in the ministry He has given me. I am to love and serve others by His love and power. But when the time comes for me to depart this earth, I will gain! I will see Jesus face to face. I will behold His glory.

Like Paul, I am hard pressed between the two. I long to be face to face with my Savior. But I know God still has work for me to do here on earth. He is in control and when my time comes, Jesus will come and will take me to be with Him in glory.

“In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:2,3)

Lord Jesus, I long to see you face to face. I cannot imagine how wonderful it will be to see Your glory and beauty. But I also want to be faithful to You here on earth. It may still be necessary for me to be here longer. I willingly bow before Your sovereign will. I do know this — to live is Christ and to die is gain.


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