Day 4 of 4 • This day’s reading


Shift in Retirement Plan

Each of us is in a different phase of our career. Some of us are in the first third: starting out. Others are in the second third: mid-life. And some are in the final third: retirement. Most of us look forward to our retirement as a time of relaxation, leisure and pleasure. But this view of the last third of our life isn’t exactly biblical. While we may stop working for a paycheck, God intends for us to bear fruit as long as we are able. Paul wrote some of the most influential work of his career during the last third of his life. Included in this is the letter to the Philippians.

Paul never stopped pursuing his God-appointed mission. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul’s goal was to encourage the Philippian believers who were a minority facing persecution. He acknowledged their ongoing commitment to God in their work. He encouraged them to stay strong. He also influenced them through his own example as he remained hopeful and continued to rejoice, even under distressing circumstances.

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. … but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” Although Paul would have preferred to be with Christ, he was passionate about serving the Philippians so they could increase in their faith and influence for Christ. 

No matter what season of life we’re in, we can continue to work for God by doing what He calls us to do. We are given freedom, not for our own comfort and leisure, but rather so we are free to serve others. Whatever your stage in life, think about how you can work to serve others with your experience, wisdom, and encouragement.


Heavenly Father, as long as I have breath, I have the ability to serve others. Help me to take my focus off of myself and see the opportunities you put in my path to encourage others. Show me, Lord, where I can use my gifts and experiences to serve others for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Exploration

Listen as Donnie Smith, former CEO of Tyson Foods, shares the message "Giving Back in an Eternal Way ."