Friday, January 30, 2015

To Live is Christ

One of the things that both Alouse and I are making a practice of, is reading God's word together before we get started with our daily activities. For the next few weeks we're focusing on reading the book of Philippians. This week, our reading of Philippians 1:19-30 stuck out in a big way. Paul was writing to the Christians of Philippi encouraging them to stay faithful in Christ, even in the face of danger, to trust the Lord. He also spoke of his work in Christ, even in prison not being in vain, but to the glory of God whether he was freed or not. Paul was so confident in his relationship with Jesus that he desired to be with Jesus, so in dying he knew that being with Jesus would be his gain. He did however see the purpose of being freed, it being more for their hope and benefit as he encourages them in their faith. His encouragement to them was to live a life worthy of God, and to remember to walk this faith together as Christians. The verse that specifically spoke to us was Philippians 1:28-29,
" And not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ that you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake"
This at first was a little confusing as to what he was actually referring to, but after meditating on this verse and speaking through it, we realized that there's nothing to fear, even with all that's going on in this world today, God is our hope.

We should not fear man, the struggles of this life, or what tomorrow will bring, even death itself, because living a life without God is no life at all. We were pondering this and really encouraged because you think of instances where people die for the sake of Christ, and through that you know God was glorified, but then you ask yourself, what if it was me?

So in the face of persecution, if a person were to ask you to deny Christ to live, would you? Would I? And we came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it because even if you were to deny him, you would risk losing your life and having denied Christ thus risking losing everything. Or living, but to be a servant to someone that doesn't care about you, love you, or would make your life miserable. Would I prefer serving a ruthless master or serve the true and living God.

The reality is we're all serving a master, its the matter of WHO that master is. We choose to fear God and God alone. Sharing with Paul the attitude that

"To live is Christ and to die is gain. Phillippians 1:21"
We encourage you today, to stay faithful in Christ and always remember no matter what tomorrow will bring, we, as Christians, are all servants of Christ, and that our salvation is secure in Him.

Praise be to God for his loving kindness, steadfast love, grace, mercy, and our risen Savior!

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