Life and death in joy
What are the challenges you see in the world? Country?
What's disappointing even with RMCO?
Paul identifies the biggest dream crusher:
How do we live with a dreadfully uncertain future?
1. In death: with Christ
2. In life: for Christ
In death: we can be with Christ
Conversation with Caleb
1. Is living or dying better?
You can do more while living.
2. Whats good about death?
When we die we will be with him in heaven.
3. So what's better?
In Roman prison, there's a high likelihood of dying, perhaps being killed by lions. Yet dying is gain to Paul! How come?
It's far better to meet Christ: "I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me." Phil 1:23
Note: we may fear death because we long for the benefits of heaven (happiness, no tears, pleasure, freedom from conflict) more than we long for the purpose of heaven: to be in actual presence with Christ.
For Paul it IS better to die. And yet...
2. In life: for Christ
He begins thinking of God's people. To love Christ he is called to love God's people... for his life to make sense.
"But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith."
So he has new purpose:
Help people grow...
Help people experience joy in faith in Christ.
Living for Christ today: in light of his death and life
1. Seek a citizenship in heaven. Live as citizens of heaven, not just Malaysia. v27. What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven?
2. Share good news conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. What good news do I bear this week?
3. Stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
v27. Who do we stand with and who stands with us? What is our stand?
4. Suffer for Christ. Paul says: For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. Phil 1:29. What are our privileges? In what way are you privileged?
. "We are in this struggle together....I am still in the midst of it." phil 1:30. What struggles do you have in church, parenting and work? Do we believe struggle is good? The struggles we go through may be a gift.