Today's Verse

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. — Philippians 1:21-24 NLT

Devotion

Heaven is good, but the earth is full of sin and evil. It makes sense, therefore, that Jesus would pray "your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Heaven is a better place than earth because God's Will is done there, whereas that is only partially true on earth. Further, heaven is a better place from the Christian's perspective because it is the present abode of Jesus Christ, our beloved Lord and Savior.

It is for these reasons that the Apostle Paul says that departing and going to heaven to be with Christ is better by far than remaining on earth. On earth we struggle with sin, sickness, trials, tribulations, and troubles of every kind. How nice it would be to leave it all behind and go to the place devoid of all that. How nice it would be to enter our heavenly rest.

That Paul decides it is more necessary for him to remain on earth tells us a lot about our present task and purpose here on earth. Our goal here is not to leave, preferably as quickly as possible, but to live for Christ and to perform fruitful work. Our goal is to go forth in life in the power of the one in whom we live and he in us (I John 4:13), building the church of which he is the head, expanding his kingdom, despite the troubles of life here on earth.

We don't have to make the difficult decision between heaven and earth. God will decide that for us. It is our job to perform fruitful work for Christ Jesus.

It is our job to be here for those who find it necessary for us to be here.

By John Huisman, MPhilF, Virginia, U.S

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