Fruitful Labor | Morning Routine Daily Devotional for January 31

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet…

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. — Philippians 1:21-23 ESV

The letter to the Philippians was written by the apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome. One of the themes of the letter is endurance under persecution, a quality that Paul exemplifies!  

Despite his troubling situation, Paul’s hope is in the God he preaches. Earlier in the chapter, he says that he rejoices, knowing that—through the prayers of the Philippians and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ—he will be delivered. He is hopeful but he is torn between two outcomes: life and death. For him to live means he can continue ministering to the churches. For him to die is to depart and be with Christ—free from all pain and suffering and at home with the Lord! Both appear to be good options, but one is more selfless than the other: fruitful labor. 

Paul wants to live, and so long as he does, he will be completely devoted to Christ, working to fulfill God’s call in his life. Fruitful labor. What a powerful testimony this is to the greatness of Jesus Christ—He is worth suffering for! What are 100 years on this earth compared to an eternity with Christ forever? It causes me to consider my own vision for living: Do we look at life and death as Paul did? To live is Christ; to die is gain? Today, let’s live as if it is our last day on earth, fully devoted to Jesus. Like Paul, may you and I make every day he gives us fruitful labor. And may He bless you as you labor for His Kingdom, whether in the home, the school, the church—wherever you find yourself… live for Christ!