To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain

Philippians 1:21: “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”

Paul wrote this to the church in Philippi while he was in chains. He was a captive for nothing but his faith. He recognized that to live as a follower of Christ is not the glamorous life some expect. You will be persecuted. You will be spurned. You will be treated poorly. But Paul wrote this little bi of wisdom to remind those in Philippi and us that this life that can at times be cold and sorrowful has purpose.

For Paul, to live meant that everything about his life revolved around his devotion to Christ. Everything he did, everything he said, everything that happened to him was part of God’s plan. He was not ashamed and he would not be beaten down by those who would attempt to force his head downward in defeat.

And even if Paul were to die at the hands of those who so cruelly oppressed him, he saw that his death would lead him directly to eternity face to face with Christ Himself. So no matter what, if he continued living he was free spiritually because he focused on what we ought only to focus on and be devoted to, and if he died he received the reward that God promised us and delivered through the death of His Son.

So remember what it is that Paul was espousing in this scripture. We will have pain and hurt and hardship for as long as we live in this world, but it will NEVER consume us for we have a mighty Savior whom has welcomed us into His arms and who builds a mansion for us in the Kingdom His Father has given Him. We have fellowship with He who is truth and was made perfect in weakness.

Never give up. Never back down. Never let your eyes be downcast but keep your eyes on Heaven and on Him who loves us.


Thoughts on our Father and being a father

I believe nothing illustrates what God puts up with better than trying to put a fussy baby to sleep.

Even though said beautiful, sweet little child is a joy most of the time, when the child is tired she becomes very irritable. She knows she is tired but fights it as hard as she can until she finally relents and gives into sleep.

We very often struggle against God when we feel Him moving on our lives because our flesh is in opposition to Him (Galatians 5:17). But a good father doesn’t lose his temper when the hadn’t resists because he realizes it’s just in her nature to resist the same way our Good Father remains calm and loving when our flesh resists Him.

It is part of the nature of our flesh to rebel, but it has been overcome by the blood of Jesus and through the power of God.

For the Good of Mankind?

I just read a story about an 11 year old child admitted to Texas Christian University (TCU). There are many mixed emotions I have about this and many conflicting opinions within myself.

First, I am astounded and amazed at the wonderful intellect and gifts God has placed in this young boy. He is truly a wonderful person that gives rise to pride in the human potential and honor to God’s intentional endowments on His children. This young boy is nothing short of miraculous. But that’s just the thing: he is a young boy.

While I know he without a doubt has many wonderful and exciting things to offer the world and can make many changes for the better of mankind, I fear for his innocence. Everything, and I mean everything, has a process.

I have talked on this before, but if you try to reap what’s not ready you will have not-so-profitable consequences. Yes I know he can change the world and push humanity forward with the discoveries I’m confident in believing he will make, but what about him? He can do so much for us, but at the sacrifice of his age and innocence. Young buys should be climbing trees and playing soldiers, not studying quantum physics.

While he may have the capacity to graduate college at the age of 15, I sincerely believe it is something he is not truly ready for and it will harm him more than anything in the long run. While he may have the intellect of a man, he still has the developing mind of a child and should not be put the through the rigors and stresses of college, let alone try to stand up to the challenges and decisions college student lifestyle and culture presents while at an age where most people are only beginning to realize that they are individuals capable of thought outside what their parents tell them.

God, it is my sincere and earnest prayer that you steel his heart and mind and protect him from the many challenges that lie before him. Protect his innocence and help him retain that spark of childhood and wonder that many of us lost too early. God, I know you can make good out of any situation, so I’m believing you will turn this startling publicity stunt into a great opportunity as well as a gift. Lord, in your name I pray, amen.

Be blessed brothers and sisters, and never forget that God is here

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Recovering the natural state of Man

Have you ever noticed that any time someone has surgery, or gets over a sickness or injury, that process is called “recovery”. At that point, your body is attempting to “recover” its health, or it’s natural state of being.

God has put in your body a natural desire to return to it’s original state. As Chris Gore said at Convergence Church this last Sunday, July 14 “when you get a cut on your arm, you don’t have to tell your body to start healing, your body naturally starts doing so(paraphrased)”.

The same can be said of emotional and spiritual healing. Part of what Jesus did on the cross was destroy the power of sin and connect us with God, but also what He did was start man on the path to recovery to his original state of being, the state of being Adam was before the fall. In Genesis 1:27 it says God created them in His own image, male and female. God’s image is perfect, without sin or blemish, and beautiful. Since we were created in His very same image, it can be said so were Adam and Eve. When Man fell, it threw the while world in turmoil.

Genesis 3:17 says “…cursed is the ground for your sake…”. The Earth itself was cursed by sin. But when Jesus removed sin’s power, He gave us authority over the curse and started the natural healing process in our spirit. He came into us and began acting as a sort of spiritual immune system, fighting off sin and keeping it from getting us sick again. The farther we go through deliverance and the closer we get to God, the closer we become to the state of being Man was intended to be in.

The wonderful thing is that it is a process and we are dependent on God to take us through it, therefore showing and revealing a deeper knowledge and revelation of His love for us. Be blessed on your journey and process in Jesus name.

You aren’t justified to God by your works, but you faith is

His grace and His blood is enough, but you must step into what He has called you to do or your faith will be empty. James says “faith without works is dead”, and “Abraham was justified by his works of faith”. Jesus even said signs and wonders would follow believers. Because you have faith, God will give you assignments. Accept then that your faith may be proven and strengthened.

Once saved always saved: the agape love Jesus paid for

Romans 8:38-39 WEB

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is, by definition, agape(or unconditional or everlasting) love. Because God is love, and God is everlasting, His love for is the same as well as our salvation. Do not be deceived by the lies of the enemy that say you have into sin and are not loved by God, but believe the truth of God’s word that says you are ‘pardoned from all iniquity’ and that you were ‘cleansed of all sin’ when you repented and that your sin is not only forgiven but forgotten by God.

Live in His truth, not some damning theology the enemy has crafted out of the mouths of vulnerable men and hearts. Live and proclaim His truth and rejoice that His spirit makes intercession for you according to God. You are beloved, do not forget.