Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Live is Christ & Fruitful Labor

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 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. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again" (Philippians 1:21-26, NASB).

This morning there are two thoughts that ring true to me: to live is Christ and fruitful labor.

The thought of life in Christ is one of love, joy, peace, hope, and all those things that go with the love of the Father, the forgiveness of the Son Jesus Christ, and the joy of knowing what the Holy Spirit living inside me is all about. Life in Christ seems so easy when I submit to His leadership in my life and let Him direct my every move.

The hard part is life in Christ on earth. Are you with me? It is the reality of the enemy hard-pressing on every side (and it is just a pain). When we are walking with Christ and laboring for His causes, the enemy never lets up. The labor to press onward is intense and well, hard-pressing. It becomes labor (hard work) to continue to keep going in order to produce fruitfulness. Fruitful labor is best accomplished when we allow Christ to live in us through the Holy Spirit; thus, when we live in Christ.

I don't know what is hard-pressing on you today but whatever it is, if it is for the sake of Christ, then allow the Holy Spirit to help you press onward. It is it not something that God has called you to do, be done with it. Get out of it because it is only taking up your time and energy. Sometimes we have taken on great things but not the best thing and therefore we must stop, repent, and move forward.

To live is Christ means fruitful labor toward what God has called us to do, and nothing else.

"I press onward toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14, NASB).