Tag: die is gain

Thankful God promises life beyond the grave!

Scripture reading for July 24th:  Ecclesiastes 4-8

Key Scriptures:  Ecclesiastes 8:7-8  “For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.  Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?  No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death.  As no one is discharged in time of war; so wickedness will not release those who practice it.”  

Solomon had everything money could buy and wisdom that dazzled others, but there were things he did not know or understand.  God has set boundaries and only by His revelation can man find answers to some of life’s perplexing questions.  “What will happen in the future?” “When is the day of our death?”  “How can I control the wind?”  “Will my misery ever end?”  Solomon knew that life under the sun could not adequately answer these questions.

Rejoicing in truth:  “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.  Yet what shall I choose?  I do not know!  I am torn between the tow:  I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. . .”  (Philippians 1:20-23)

 

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Exalting Christ!

Scripture reading for September 1st:  Philippians 1

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Philippians 1:20-23  “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body; this will mean fruitful labor for me.  Yet what shall I choose?  I do not know!  I am torn between the two:  I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” 

Paul was in jail for his faith and facing possible execution.  He was not sure whether he would live or die, but wanted to exalt Christ no matter what his lot.  He knew with the certainty of faith in Christ’s death and resurrection that to die would be great gain and the far better option.  He also knew that if he lived, he could also exalt Christ through preaching the gospel and living a life of faith.  That would result in more fruitful ministry and growth in Christ’s body.

Observations for over-comers:  Believers can be fearless in life and ministry.  God’s promises form a foundation of vision beyond life here on earth that brings hope and the expectation of great reward.  “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes–I and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!”  (Job 19:25-27)

 

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To live is Christ–to die is gain!

Scripture reading for September 2nd:  Philippians 1

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:1-2)  In his introduction and greeting Paul refers to God the Father or Jesus Christ the Son four times!  He sets the tone for his letter by exalting Christ and continues to do so throughout the letter.  Christ Jesus is the Lord of Paul’s life and every believer and church leader must center on Jesus as well.

Paul was in jail for preaching the Gospel at the time of writing this letter.  He prayed for this church that he had pioneered with joy, knowing that God had begun a good work in them and that God would see that work through to completion as the church followed Christ!  (Philippians 1:6)  Joy or rejoicing is mentioned fourteen times by Paul in this letter!

Paul did not know whether his imprisonment would lead to freedom again or death by execution for the Gospel.  He conveyed his thoughts to the church for their prayers and encouragement.  These recorded thoughts have encouraged Christians of all generations!  “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  (Philippians 1:20-21)  Paul looked forward to being with Christ for all eternity.  He was assured that life did not end at death.  He lived for Christ and would die to be with Him!  Let these thoughts encourage you today!

 

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