21) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22) 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.
23) But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
24) yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
-To live or die, both have their benefits.
-Paul knows his life will produce fruit as he continues to live for Christ.
-To be with Christ would be better for Paul than to remain.
-His concern is for the people he would leave behind, knowing that he can do more for them, even viewing it as "more necessary for your sake."
Often when I read Paul's letters I am just left feeling that I am nowhere near the bond-servant that he was. Someone asked me recently what I would have done in the face of someone like Hitler. I responded that in all honestly I don't know. I would like to think that I would lay down my life for my King, but then I think about Peter on the night of Jesus arrest. It was pointed out to me that I have something that Peter did not- the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I'm not sure what the application is here, but it is an interesting point to ponder. Maybe just a reminder that this life is not the goal; to live on in the flesh is temporary no matter what. I do think that to have such an attitude, "to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better" would have a positive impact on my desire to be bolder, to share Christ courageously as I live this life- certainly, as Paul recognizes, that would be good for those the Lord has placed me among. At least I hope it is good for them. Maybe it is within that thought, that my application lies....
Lord, make me an instrument for Your good.
Grace and Peace,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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