"The Pull of Eternity" - Tuesday, August 9th

"The Pull of Eternity" - Tuesday, August 9th

That with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.  But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better. Philippians 1:20B-23

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

In the opening line of today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is talking about the quality of life he hopes to experience from the present moment he is in to the very end of his life on earth. He speaks of Christ being exalted in his body. This just means that during the remaining time he is in his body he wants his life to exalt Christ as has always been the case before. The quality of the life we live and even the quality of the death we experience is hinged to our boldly seeking to exalt Christ. The person who exalts Christ in life and death is the person who clearly evidences to others that life is a stepping stone to an eternity in heaven and death is the gateway for entering in.

Treating life as a stepping stone does not minimize the value of life here and now. The Apostle Paul says, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Life here on earth is all about Christ – loving him, knowing him, becoming like him, counting on him, honoring him, sharing him, exalting him, etc. When “to live is Christ” becomes true of us, treating life as a stepping stone (“to die is gain”) helps us to maximize our quality of life here on earth. The Apostle Paul knew all about “the pull of eternity” as seen in his words, “I am hard pressed from both directions. He said that living on in the flesh meant fruitful labor and that departing and being with Christ was very much better. Experiencing the “pull of eternity” creates a healthy tension. Longing for heaven helps us overcome the pull of the world and gives us the desire to stay (like the Apostle Paul) for the sake of those who are not yet prepared for eternity.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I am glad that you are in charge of my life, my death, and my eternal future. Help me to live fully for you, now, with the healthy tension that comes from the pull of eternity. I am so grateful that I am prepared for eternity. Thank you for the gift of salvation and the gift of heaven. I give myself to the fruitful labor of helping others become prepared for eternity. Amen!

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