If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. (ESV)
Paul has already established that the purpose for his living is Christ. It his ultimate goal to be with Christ. This purpose is to be the true purpose of every believer in Christ. As a result of Paul's goal he has a conundrum. If he stays on the Earth he is unable to be in the eternal presence of Jesus Christ. Yet, while he is here there is work to be done. He desires to share the Gospel until his last breath.
Do you experience the same conundrum in your own life? Do you love the Savior so much that you long to be with him in eternity? Do you find it difficult at times to decide which is better for you? To live with Jesus or to serve him here until your last breath? The true life of the believer in Jesus is one who is consumed with Christ.
It was not long after Paul wrote these words that he left this Earth. He was beheaded for his faith. Yet, because of his life devoted to Christ, we are here today discussing his life. The world will offer you all kinds of pleasures, prestige and power. These are all fleeting. When you die, all of the things you have possessed will be gone. But if you will live for Christ, you leave a legacy behind you that will impact many others, and even greater than that, you will hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
I leave you with these wonderful words from the great Martin Luther:
"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."
- Martin Luther