Friday, November 10, 2017

Day of Praise

Sat, 11/11/17, "Day of Praise" 

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:21 

Please be careful. As a pastor, I've experienced dear friends who have tragically used today's verse to create an eagerness for physical death. Though I won't deny that there's some element of that, God's chief encouragement in the verse is for us to know the "gain" and the joy of "dying to self." 

To die to self is to pray to God, "Thy will be done." To die to self is to set aside our will and wants and desires, saying, "God, your will and wants and desires for me are far greater than anything I could even desire, let alone deserve." 

To die to self is gain! 

Oh, yes, if you search the 100 or so Bible verses with the word "gain," then you can see that there are some things to be gained for doing the old Burger King jingle thing where you "have it your way." But God's Word says that the gains of having it our way are always very temporary at best and negative, destructive, and ruinous at worst. 

To the contrary, God's Word says the gains from dying to self are always positive and lasting, including gaining instruction, knowledge, insight, wisdom, a friend, godliness with contentment, your own life, a good standing for yourself, great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. and, best of all, you gain Jesus Christ himself. 

And when you gain Jesus Christ, then, well, you can really start living! 

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:21 

Praise God!

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