Living to Die, or Dying to Live
Steve N. Wagers
March 19, 2006
1. The Desire He Would Not Flee!
A) A Life Filled with Meaning
B) A Life Filled with Ministry!
2. The Devotion He Could Not Fail!
A) A Personal Acceptance of Christ
B) A Personal Allegiance to Christ
3. The Death He Should Not Fear!
A) Death Brings Relief from a Burdened Life
B) Death Brings Release to a Better Life
I once heard about a lady that was standing on the deck during a terrible storm. A crewman said to her, "Ma'am, you need to get inside. It is dangerous to be out here. You could be swept overboard." She replied, "I've got a daughter in New York and one in heaven, and it doesn't matter to me which one I see next."
The Apostle Paul in was in a similar frame of mind. If he died and went to heaven, so be it. That would be fine with him. If he lived, so be it. That was fine. He had an earthly home and a heavenly home, and whichever one he was living in was fine with him. Osama Bin Laden may be "Wanted: Dead or Alive." But, Paul was "Happy: Dead or Alive!" He was living to die while dying to live.
I love the words of the song written by Mike Upright:
"I'm a winner either way,
If I go or if I stay."
I think of the words of the poem:
There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played.
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when one day he passed away
His insurance was denied.
For since he never really lived.
They claimed he never died!
In our text we see that there was a struggle going on in Paul's heart. There was a place that blessed his heart and a people that burdened his heart. These were both very dear to his heart and his longing for them both, but him in a unique dilemma.
Paul said in verse 23, "For I am in a strait betwixt two." The word "strait" speaks of something that is compressed. It means, "distressed, hard pressed, to be in a dilemma." It spoke of someone that was i ...
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