Better By Far
June 10, 2020: SOAP #3842: Song of Solomon 5-8; Philippians 1
Scripture: Philippians (NIV) 1: 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Observation: There was no concept of “soul sleep” with Paul. If Paul thought death as being “sleep” he would have clearly wanted to stay and have more fruitful ministry. However, he is convinced that being “absent from the body” is the same as being “present with the Lord.” Paul's judgment is that being “present with the Lord” is “far better!”
Paul is torn between the possibilities of two places: here in life, or there with the Lord. Really, there is no comparison between the two! It is not even close! His personal desire is to depart and be with Christ. For Paul, being with Christ is FAR better than remaining here!
Application: Though not used very much, my favorite funeral song has become, 'I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart; I will enter His courts with praise! I will say, 'This is the day that the Lord hath made; I will rejoice for He hath made me glad!' (Psalm 100:4)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, to enter the gates of heaven; 'what a day that will be!' 'Won't it be wonderful there!' 'It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!' Father, your children do not sorrow like others who have no hope! Thank you! Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!