Paul simply says he desires to depart and be with Christ.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.” – Philippians 1:21-26
Have we considered recently what a life would look like fully embracing this statement? “My desire is to depart and be with Christ…”
I firmly believe it is Paul’s deep longing for this Home, this Savior’s eyes, that motivates him to slavishly labor in intense love for lost and found! As I meditated on this today, I began to weep at the thought that Jesus is truly this beautiful for us who believe! Jesus truly is eternally desirable to know, love, admire, worship, follow, abandon one’s self to, burn out well for! We can be MORE zealous than the most intense follower of other false religions. Do we believe this?
In conjunction with this meditation, I’m reading a book titled Ordinary by Michael Horton. What a powerful meditation, the intensity of the Apostle Paul for our Redeemer and Jesus’ call on his life until he saw Jesus face-to-face… this along with the radical thought that just maybe most of us are called to a life of deferred glory, a life of deflecting glory to the Savior. We are most satisfied in this life when God is most glorified in us.
A friend and I were talking yesterday about principles, values, Proverbs, and much more. One illustration that came up was radial vs linear thinking/meditating/living. I’ve discussed this before here on this blog in the past.
This image is from my team meeting at my company recently. It’s not real easy to see, but it gives a glimpse into the radial vs linear thinking/doing concept.
The Gospel genuine followers of Jesus know so well and are awe-struck by is actually very radial, meaning that every part of our life works into and back out from the Gospel of Jesus’ love for us and glory to God in the Trinity.
The vision I’ve had for a few years now is that our lives are both radial and linear as we meditate on Christ. We LONG TO DEPART AND TO BE WITH JESUS, as genuine believers in Christ. Yet, it is fruitful labor for us to stay and serve until God decides it’s time for us to be in-person with Jesus. It’s almost like a wheel that is always progressing forward – the Gospel of Christ can’t be stopped. However, we are truly content with the pace of this progress in each of our lives because we are content in the presence of our God through the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and the fellowship of God’s children. We also mysteriously find sweet fellowship with Jesus as we encounter those who are in need, whether they know Jesus yet or not (Matthew 25).
I know this post is a bit disjointed, but I’m seeking to mostly just LIVE THIS OUT and spend less time hypothesizing things or trying to get all my sentences perfectly figured out. I’m already a wordy guy, and Carrie can speak to this. So, I’m seeking to bend down more often, know Jesus more intimately in the course of a more “ordinary” life, and in the process encounter God’s radical plan for Carrie’s and my life day-by-day. What’s so radical about the ordinary? It’s shocking to see anyone truly content in Jesus Christ and in the labors of love He calls us to.
Join me, friends, as I join Paul in this beautiful and fruitful labor of love until we do AT LAST DEPART AND JOIN JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IN-PERSON, FACE-TO-FACE.
Love you tons.