“Necessary for Your Sake” ( Philippians 1:21-26 LEB ) by Carley Evans


Paul writes to the church at Philippi, telling them in no uncertain terms, “I’ve got it rough!” Then he says his rough times benefit the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Paul finds himself torn between two strong desires – the better desire is to depart this life and go to Christ; the lesser is to remain behind; “to stay on in the flesh.” Unfortunately for Paul, his remaining alive “is more necessary for” the sake of the church.

That Paul is more desirous of death is obvious. He writes to the Philippians:

For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if it is to live in the flesh, this is fruitful work for me, and which I will prefer I do not know. But I am hard pressed between the two options, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is very much better. But to stay on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. And because I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that what you can be proud of may increase in Christ Jesus because of me through my return again to you.

Yet, Paul is obviously not suicidal. Once again, he puts others above himself. He is convinced that it is more necessary for him to remain alive, so he knows he will “continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith.” And so, Paul can readily say, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” without any hint of self-pity or drudgery. He does not threaten the church; he only reminds them that he remains alive for their sakes.

“Words In Season” (Proverbs 15: 23, ESV) by Carley Evans


One of the most difficult moments in a shared life is when someone else is hurting and you are seeking right and comforting words to speak. When and if you find those words, words which touch the other; you find joy. Your “word in season, how good it is!”

We’ve all experienced this. Someone close to us loses a child. Another deals with intractable pain. A husband commits adultery, abandoning the wife of his youth. A young adult commits suicide.

Every one of us has been in pain, and every one of us has sought the best words to speak to the other who is in pain.

Our “word in season, how good it is!”

Thank You, Lord that You promise to give us the right words.