40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

Philippians 1:19-26

Philippians 1:19-26

New King James Version (NKJV)


To Live Is Christ

19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

My Thoughts:

There are a lot of things I could talk about today but I am still keeping it to 3 so the post does not get to long, besides that is what others are for, and that makes me smile. Knowing that people are reading the passages and putting their time in to responding to what they read. So in some ways I feel like Paul, but without the chains.

  1. Let’s start with (v. 20) we read “according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body,”
    1.  Paul’s greatest fear was to fail Christ and we see him stating this as he says “according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness”
    2. While Paul is stating that his hope, he also is saying that this is the way I have always been and will be.
  2. In (v. 21) we read “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
    1. Throughout his ministry Paul never lost sight of the source of his wisdom and strength.
    2. I see Paul telling the people that whatever happens to him is ok, if he lives his well continue to standup for Christ, and if he dies just as Christ’s death brought salvation for men, something good will come from his death as well.
  3. Let’s finish with (v. 26) “that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.”
    1. Paul clearly expected that he would not spend his last days in prison, and he is telling then that he will see them again.

Thought of the Day

Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go,

For who am I that I should choose my way?

The Lord shall choose for me, ’tis better far I know,

So let Him bid me go, or stay. –Miles

The book “To the Golden Shore” tells the story of Adoniram Judson, one of the first American missionaries sent overseas (Courtney Anderson [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1956]). He was a brave ambassador of Jesus Christ who served his Lord in what was then known as Burma. After fourteen years of enduring wretched imprisonments and life-threatening diseases, all he had to show for his pains were the graves of his wife and all his children. He was all alone, yet was faithful to remain there. He wrote that if he had not felt certain that every trial was ordered by God’s infinite love and mercy, he could not have survived his accumulated sufferings. Judson understood his trials were a part of the sovereign plan of God. Although he must have longed to be with Christ and enjoy the fellowship of his beloved family, he also longed to meet the needs of the pagan Burmese people. Therefore he prayed God would allow him to live until he had translated the entire Bible into Burmese and had presided over a native church of at least 100 Christians. Judson had the spirit of the apostle Paul, who longed to be with Christ but also desired to be useful to the church. (Click here for more on the incredible sacrificial life of Adoniram Judson & be challenged by his life even as you are by Paul’s words in Philippians) (from John MacArthur)

Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. What are your thoughts on (v. 22)?
  2. How would you face imprisonment for your faith?
  3. What other things do you see in the text?

Prayer Activities

  1. Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
  2. Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
  3. Pray with them and ask for the following;
    1. For God to help you stand strong in your faith.
    2. For God to strengthen your prayer life.
    3. For the individuals on your pray list.
  4. Let’s stay on first,(Proverbs 1:1-7) this one is a little different, but read it two or three times and then I hope you see its beauty.


About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

4 comments on “Philippians 1:19-26

  1. Rosi
    August 25, 2011

    Verse 22 I feel like Paul felt he faced a dilemma because he clearly wanted both things/ He wanted ti continue to live to serve the Father and to continue to work with the people. He also wanted his suffering to end and he could find rest. He was tired. I don’t know how it would be to be imprisoned. I have thought about when I think of the end days. I know that God will be with us. I know the angels will help us. I know the Holy Spirit will strengthen us. Knowing all of this does not make any of it easier to think about or handle should it come down to it. We must also rmember that God does not give us any more than we can handle. He is a great and merciful God. Things are happening so fast and the end is ever closer and I pray we will all have the strength and wisdom we will need to get through.

    • bobh6
      August 28, 2011

      I like your post Rosie, thank you

  2. Amalia Mullen
    August 25, 2011

    It almost like Paul was bebating which is more important, especially to him, loving God or loving man. That would be a difficult decision, since they are both related. In these hang the whole law: love God with all your heart, soul, mind and all your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.

    His love for Jesus set his dilemma straight. What would Jesus do? Answer: die trying to help just one more person get to heaven. What a zeal!

    • bobh6
      August 28, 2011

      Reading your response reminded me of a illustration I used in a sermon of mine, I cannot remember if I used it at the Abilene Church but here it is anyway.
      “I read a story once about a man that had a dream one night and in this dream he saw the throne of God. And there in front of the throne was a singer and he sang the most amazing songs to the father.
      Next a writer and he wrote the prettiest poem for Jesus, that he had ever heard.
      Then the angel brought another mortal before the throne. He was an ordinary man. In his person there was no sign of greatness, or genius.
      Then the angel opened the book and read, this man won a soul for Christ. At that very moment, all heaven rang with a great shout, the angels and all the host of the redeemed, rejoicing over the one soul that had been saved.

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2011 by in 40 days, Philippians, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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