October 3 – Live or Die Is Christ’s

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. ” – Philippians 1:21 (NASB)

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3 12 (NASB)

We hope in earnest that each of us can affirm the statement Paul made in the first of our chosen verses today. Our world believes and practices that to die is a loosing thing. It is for all those who die without believing in the person and words of Jesus Christ. To die without having believed is to die without eternal life with God. It is to die and end up in a state of separation from God. That is the final and permanent death. Paul the Apostle proclaimed that He lived in Christ and dying was a benefit he yearned for. But he also cautioned that he had not yet obtained that which is gain. He says he will “press on” which is a Greek word used of a sprinter, and Paul is referring to aggressive, energetic action. Paul pursued sanctification with all his might, straining every spiritual muscle to win the prize. “Lay hold” means “to make one’s own possession.” Christ chose Paul and us for the ultimate purpose of conforming us to His glorious image (Romans 8:29), and that is the very goal Paul pursued to attain.

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March 29 – I AM The Resurrection and The Life


Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26 (ESV)


This passage records Jesus’ lesson on life, death, and resurrection. Lazarus, a friend died and was in the tomb for four days. Jesus hearing Lazarus was near death delayed going to Bethany. By the time He and is disciples arrive it is too late – at least according to Martha first and Mary later. Their home was now a house of mourning. Jesus missed his opportunity to save Lazarus from this death. Both Mary and Martha tell Jesus that their brother would not have died if Jesus had been there. Jesus promises that Lazarus will rise again. Martha agrees believing Jesus is talking about eventual resurrection of all believers. Jesus states that He is Himself The Resurrection and The Life. “Do you believe this?” He asks Martha. Yes, she confirms her faith that Jesus is the Christ. These awesome promises are for us⸺Now!. They cause immense joy to erupt within our hearts and banish all fear of death. We who believe in Christ, physical death is only temporary, we are alive spiritually in Christ. This is the promise of eternal life that is ours after our bodies die. And, we are promised new bodies like unto Christ’s resurrection body.

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February 24 – A Win-Win Outcome

“Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:20b-21 (NASB)


The Apostle Paul dedicated his life to work for the exaltation of Jesus Christ from the moment of his conversion to believe Jesus was the promised Messiah. Another version uses the word ‘magnified’ to describe Paul’s main purpose – the glorification of Christ. So Paul could say “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” After years as a prisoner in Rome, his appeal was still pending before Caesar, he was at a fork on the road in the journey of his life. On one hand, he knew he could be martyred. He was ready for that. Or, he might gain his freedom (we don’t know the details). He did not fear martyrdom and saw benefit for others if he remained. Paul declared in either outcome, dying or living, Christ would be magnified. Both of these options, continuing to live for Christ, or gaining his access to glory through dying would result in Christ being glorified. This is to what God calls us in our lives. As believers we are promised that dying is a glorious thing, and remaining alive on earth is opportunity to bring glory to Christ through our obedience and service. It is a win-win situation.

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January 22 – Once, Only Once


“But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:26-27 (ESV)

What happens to us when we die? Does anyone know? This is a question that concerns many people. We know there is a destination for all. We know Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life that will get us to God. With the truth we have in these verses, the realities of what is to come in our after-life, come into focus. We humans are sinful creatures. We were born in that state and we all are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. That is a promise we need to take very seriously. Have we believed in the only way to God? If not our destination is eternal death. If yes, we trust in the fact that Christ was sacrificed once to take away our sins and the sins of all who believe. We can notice the word “once” and what it tells us. It emphasizes the finality and the singleness of Christ’s sacrificial work. The law that Christ came to fulfill stood in contrast as the Levite Priests repeated their sacrifices over and over. We also note the promise that, the “once”-sacrifice of Christ compares with the “once”-death of each person.

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Facing Down Sudden Fear

“Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;” Proverbs 3:25 (NASB)

This blog is not about various bible translations. However, there are times when one version can cause confusion and another or several others can help us understand. 

I hear many who fear what lies ahead for us. Most hope for a revival and a restoration of our society based on Christian principles. I don’t think that going to happen. I think the clock is nearing the Day of Christ. 

What is sudden fear that we are not to be afraid of? – I think it is just what is happening. Suddenly we have things to be afraid of that we have not though of until the last 2-4 years. Things are happening that were unthinkable a very short time ago. 

What is the onslaught of the wicked? – The word “onslaught” carries the idea of an attack and so I think that the verse predicts an attack of or by the wicked. Actually is reverse is more to the point.  

A quick comparison give these two alternate readings and, at least for me, a clearer understanding. 

“Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,” Proverbs 3:25 (ESV)

“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,” Proverbs 3:25 (NIV)

I have been fighting the effort to go down the path of pointing out where our sudden fear seems to be coming from. But I resist it because what we face now is no different than what others have faced in the past and Christ has made the provision for all of his own to live for ever even if they die.   

As a believer of Jesus Christ we can know that the future, whatever it becomes will never change the promises of our God. What Jesus has promised us will stand forever. Even in the face of death, Christians around the world are finding out that Christ is with them always and if they face death, He is still there as they die for Him. 

Dying for Christ is not shameful and it most certainly is not the end of your life. You may know some who have died as they stood faithful to their Lord and Savior. You may know some who will and it may even get much closer than that to you. Do not be afraid of that sudden fear. Nothing on this earth is more valuable than the life Christ has given to you. At sometime, as in the past, the wicked will face their ruin for their wickedness. At sometime, as in the past, faithful believers will suffer persecution and death because of their faith. The difference is what happens afterward. Stay faithful and true for Christ has promised to welcome all who die in His name. 

The wicked? Not so much. The promise for them wicked is destruction – eternal destruction. 

Stay positive in the Lord. Positive that what you read in His Word is true and focus on it – it brings strength to fight sudden fear. 

Live Even If You Die

The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6

What can man do to me? Good question.

If we think along our normal temporal plane we would say “Man can do a lot to me.” After all, have we not seen the Christians who are beheaded because they would not reject Christ and convert to Islam? Have we not seen the reports of women and children being raped with impunity? Have we not seen those who have be caged and burned alive because they did not agree with the militant Islamists? 

Yes, we have, and it is natural and normal to react to these things with fear.  We fear that this will be us, it will come to our door and sooner rather than later. We fear that our government does not have a plan or strategy to protect us. We fear that we are looking at a future that is in control of the evil one and there is little we can do about it. 

But the Word of God is this; “The Lord is for me; I will not fear;” whatever man can do to me is of little consequence because I am already dead and my life is hidden with Christ in God. This is according to Colossians 3:3.

We either believe that or we do not. 

We either live in the truth of this short verse or we live in fear of what can happen to our physical life. 

Understand this, we can die but we are alive and will yet live even if we die. Dying for those who have found refuge in Christ, for those who have put their trust in God is simply a transition from the temporal to the eternal.  Right now, this very minute every child of God, every one who has received the spirit of adoption as sons and daughters of God possesses a life that cannot end. Nothing can bring it to and end because it is the life of Christ in us – an eternal life. 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

This is truth. “He who believes in Me will live even if he dies…Do your believe this?”