To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2015 Issue – ‘Our True Home’, ‘an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you’ (1 Peter 1:4)
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Philippians 1:12-26 (NIVUK): “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.
But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.”
I like today’s reading, because over the past few months I’ve been in that position where I desire to depart and be with Christ.
Selwyn says: “Throughout the Church’s history God’s people have drawn comfort, when faced by life’s problems, from the promise of heaven. … The promise that one day we will be with Jesus in a perfect place has a powerful effect on our lives in the present time and enables us to cope with difficult situations because it gives us that most precious of all ingredients – hope.”
The hope that we have in Christ is a hope we can trust in, as it is based on His word.
I have been finding it hard to add much to the studies in this issue, perhaps it’s due to the small incremental steps that Selwyn is taking in looking at heaven and how we live in the present but with our eyes on where we are heading – our true home.