Becoming Heavenly Minded People While Living On Earth!

Paul was writing to the believers in Philippi from imprisonment. He gives them and us an insight into his mentality in living light in the midst of unfair circumstances, the hostility, meanness of others towards him and his ability to choose to rejoice in the Lord irrespective of his circumstances. Maybe you have heard the old line,“so heavenly minded of no earthly use.” The reality is ONLY the Heavenly minded are of any earthly use! Paul teaches us so… What made him who he was? What can we learn from his attitude? Below are some thoughts I have been chewing on  regarding Paul that by God’s grace we too may be of earthly use because we choose to live in light of eternity- as Heavenly minded people!

1.- Paul’s  AMBITION

“my earnest expectation. … That Christ be MAGNIFIED in my BODY whether by life or by death .”  – Phil 1:20. “Be Magnified “ The word  means, big, great, exalted. –  The Greek word, “megaluno” from “megas’ = great, strong. It means to raise in status, to give dignity and honor.” His body was his vehicle to “magnify” Jesus Christ. This was his ambition, life was not about Paul but “magnifying ” – making much of Jesus Christ. His body, was the means to do so. In life or death. This was his “statement of faith!”

“One life to live, till soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last.”- David Livingstone missionary.

God has entrusted us with “one” life to be lived for Him now. Some of us will wish and often we do fall into the trap of living in the past, be it ‘success’s’ or ‘failures.’  We cannot go back but we can go forward. Moment by moment irrespective of our circumstances, are ours to use to ‘magnify, exalt’ Jesus Christ.

Paul’s  body was the means to live out magnifying Jesus Christ. He used his hand to correspond through a letter to the Philippians. He used his mouth to pray,{1:3-5,9-11} evangelize the lost {1:13}, encourage believers to speak the Word of God without fear { v14}.  Ten years earlier according to Acts 16, he had used his feet to walk down by a river and used his mouth to speak  the Gospel to  some woman. God “…opened Lydia’s heart to receive the Word,” and save her. He ended up in prison and shared with a suicidal jailor and his family, and God saved them. “My circumstances have worked out to further the Gospel.”- {1:12.}. Whatever his circumstances he used the members of his body to seek to “magnify” Jesus Christ!

He was  a man on a mission with his ambition to magnify Jesus Christ! 

Paul had come to the realization, he existed for God, to know Him and represent, reflect, magnify Him in whatever circumstance he found himself in. He could do this through the power of the Holy Spirit. God did not exist for him. Before Paul there was…God! Paul’s high view of God and the saving work of Jesus Christ was lived out by thinking rightly about God and living for Him. Paul had one life to live. He lived it with eternal perspective,Knowing Jesus Christ better and bringing people to know Jesus Christ. His life for his sake on his terms were over when he was encountered by the Lord Jesus in Acts 9. He now lived his life to ‘magnify Christ whether by living or dying.’ He was a man on a mission. His ambition to magnify Jesus Christ.

What is your mission in life? What is your ambition? Is it the same as Paul’s? If not why not? Have you lost sight of God’s mission for you to “magnify” His Son?

Today choose to make Jesus Christ your mission and ambition to magnify Him! Use the body He has given you to live for Him!


“For me to live IS Christ”

To Die IS Gain”- 1:21.

There is no “is” in the original. It reads,”For me to live Christ, gain to die.”

Life is Christ! Christianity is Christ! Paul was emphatic, irrespective of anyone else, unfair circumstances, life for him was Christ!

“Gain”is emphasized in the second part of the statement on dying. The word “gain” means “profit or advantage.” It was used for monetary profit, to make money. “Gain” was also used in the sense of “to win something.” Death was not the end for Paul but a win for Paul. To die was to be with Christ, to see Him and be with Him for eternity. Gain in dying! Winning in death is to be with Christ!  Notice again there is no verb because “is” is italicized in “to die is gain.” This put great emphasis in the Greek on the word “gain.” Paul is shouting that death is gain for the follower of Christ for they will meet Jesus face to face, embraced by Him and be at Home with Him!

  • Death is GAIN! Death is not defeat nor final. Death is WINNING!
  • Death is as an Exit into the presence of Christ.
  • Death was not an escape from difficult circumstances for him but a desire, delight to “ with Christ“- {1:23}
  •  Death will not be gain if Christ is not life!
  • Death is profitable for the follower of Christ is to “…be with Christ, which was …“far, far better.{emphasize in the original}- {1:23}.

“Gain” for the follower of Christ is dying- we WIN! Life is a Person. Death is being with that Person- Christ, the Lord. It is a win-win situation for Paul. Paul had come to the realization and his declaration was a result,“For me to live Christ, Gain to die!”

Life was not about promoting or preserving Paul but in living to honor and proclaim Jesus Christ!


“I count it all loss in view of the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ.”- 3:8.

Thirty years after his conversion Paul wrote to the Philippians and again as for him, his personal testimony, “I .” He uses an accountant term. Whatever about others for Paul, “I” “…count it all loss.” {Read verses 2 -6.}. “Loss,”the word was used of a medical term “excretion.” He as it were adds up “all” he had previously trusted in to make him right with God, his family heritage, his  national heritage, his religious prominence, zeal and said it was “all…excretion” in light of the  righteousness imparted to him through Christ and in the personal relationship of knowing Christ Jesus, the Lord. None of it could be trusted. No one but Jesus could be trusted.  It’s “all loss.” Not some of it, most of it or even a small bit of it but “all” of it. There was nothing outside of Christ that could have made him or you right with God! There is no boasting or presenting any work of humanism before God to satisfy the righteousness of God. No one but Jesus. In Acts 9 approximately thirty years earlier, Paul had an encounter with Him, and Jesus turned him around and since then his master pursuit in living was “Knowing Him,” better and better was what and whom he lived for!

 Paul’s life no longer belonged to himself but to Christ. His body was the vehicle for Christ to make Himself known through Paul to others.

Life IS Christ. Death IS gain.

Everyone has ambitions, declarations we make with the choices of our life. One thought, word, deed, motivated from a heart of love and to MAGNIFY HIM.

Christ is everything or He is nothing at all!

Everyone evaluates Jesus Christ by living out their AMBITIONS and DECLARATIONS. The choices REVEAL our TRUE EVALUATION of Jesus Christ- what we truly think of Him

 “Where your treasure is there will your heart be!”- Mathew 6:21

“Seek as the priority of your life- the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33

“Set your affections on things above where Christ is seated…” – {Colossians 3:1-3.}

“For our citizenship in in Heaven, from which also we eagerly await for  a Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ.”- Philippians 3:20. What is your AMBITION? What  does your life DECLARE?  What is your EVALUATION of Christ?

To be of  earthly use we need to be Heavenly minded people, and to make adjustments where need be and maintain Godly, lofty ambitions and declare with our lives having evaluated Christ is worthy!

Your ambition in life is ________

For you to live is __________

Death will not be gain if Christ is not life!

You will only be of earthly use if you are Heavenly minded, whose ambition is to magnify Jesus Christ, choosing  to  live to declare Jesus Christ because you have valued all  else as loss in view of magnifying, knowing Him and making Him known!

Memorize Philippians 1:20-21. Place on a 3 by 5 card and put in a place like a bathroom mirror or by your bed or carry with you and when you have opportunity read it daily, mediate upon the words, phrases and hide in your heart to obey so you too may be a person whose ambition is to magnify Jesus Christ. Who declares with your living- Christ is life, gain in death! It begins with evaluation of Jesus Christ as worthy and greater than all else!