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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 September 18 – Mercy, Continual and Everlasting


“Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.” – Psalm 119:77 (ESV)

The biblical meaning of mercy is exceedingly rich and complicated, in fact several Hebrew and Greek words are needed to understand the depth of this attribute. There are many synonyms used in our various Bible translations to express the dimensions of meaning involved. Our favorites might be “lovingkindness,” and “steadfast love.” Well-known in the concept of mercy is the compassionate nature to forgive an offender or adversary and to help or spare him in his sorry plight. Many other words in the Bible describe the character of our Lord. Perhaps we can say God’s mercy is the foremost attribute revealed. In revealing Himself to Moses, the Lord declared His great mercy (Exod. 34:6–7). The prophets likewise take great pains to remind Israel of this facet of God’s divine love. Micah 7:18 in particular provides a challenging statement: “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” The Lord our God is not merely merciful, but delights in the opportunity to grant mercy. God’s very nature is to show continual and everlasting mercy without limit.

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June 10 – It’s All On Him

 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God…” Galatians 2:20 (NASB)

The Apostle Paul made this statement, “I do not nullify the grace of God…” in a confrontation with those who wanted to compel new Gentile Christians to follow the Jewish Law. Paul argued that if righteousness and salvation were possible through obeying the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Being ‘good enough’ will never save anyone. We are declared righteous by what Christ did for us on the cross. Once was a young boy who was on a raft in the middle of a deep lake with his father. His father was diving off the raft to move it to shore, on one dive, the boy lost his balance and fell into the water. In a panic he tried to swim up but couldn’t. He was too far under water to reach the surface. As the boy went down a second time his father grabbed his arm and pulled him up and back onto the raft. There was nothing the boy could’ve done in that circumstance to avoid drowning. His salvation depended fully on his father. The boy added nothing – he didn’t nullify what his father’s did. That is the same with the grace from God that saves us.

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May 18 – This is How We Live


“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”” – Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)


These are words of testimony from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers living in Rome. He wanted to preach and teach in Rome. These two verses form the thesis of the entire letter—the gospel of Jesus Christ—which Paul unfolds and clarifies in the following chapters. The apostle was not reluctant to preach the gospel, for he loved that good news. Our promise is that the righteousness from God is ours and is available to everyone who in faith believe. There is no distinction in God’s family. The push in our world today to identify each other by race or by any other classification is purely a human method of manipulation and it is not of God. We are promised and declared righteous in Christ by believing in His word. That is how we live, believing in why He came to earth. That’s the gospel Paul was not ashamed to preach. He suffered imprisonment, was chased out and had to be smuggled out of cities. He was laughed at, called a fool and even stoned nearly or to death. Because of God’s promise let’s also be eager to proclaim our faith in the Gospel.

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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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March 2 – Trust Only One Way

“The [this] saying is trustworthy, for if we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)

We have heard quotations repeated and often we hear “That’s true.” tagged on for emphasis. The Apostle Paul used the ‘trustworthy-sayings’ formula in his letters to individuals to introduce a familiar saying. It was Paul’s way of confirming the truth in a common saying. In our verse today four comparisons or couplets are set forth. The first two are positive; those who have identified with Christ’s death as a sacrifice accomplished for them, are assured that they will enjoy eternal life with Him. “If we endure” is our identification with Christ through until the end. Our present suffering is related to our and glorification later. Then two negative couplets. Those pretending to believe but are found to be faithless deniers of Jesus will indeed be denied by God. There is no way we can by being good enough to save ourselves. We must believe and trust Jesus Christ and what He did and said for us. The players, the deniers, and the faithless can’t affect any change to Christ’s offer of new life. God’s promises remain true. He cannot deny the truth for He is the Truth and the only Way to eternal Life. God: forever faithful to His word.

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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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Care for a Second Chance?

“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:18

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”  Hebrews 4:15

How many times has you wanted a “do-over”? 

How many times have you wished for a mulligan in your life – and I do not mean on the golf course where mulligans are actually possible.  The idea might be attractive but really?  Do you really want to do it again – especially in view of the state we are in in this world?  

I find it interesting when I hear people say “the times are changing and we just have to get used to it.”  Well it isn’t really the times that are changing but the people who are changing as time goes by. Of course this has always been the normal course of history for humans. There has been no time in history that society has not experienced changes.  

Perhaps in the past the change came more slowly but it always came. Today the speed of change seems to have accelerated but that may just be a matter of perspective. Perhaps change, as it has come has always seemed to come too fast for some and not fast enough for others. For those who believe it is too fast, they want to roll back to a time when things were more comfortable. They are seeking a rewind of our morals to a time when respect of each other and of God was dominate. The want the time when being a Christian did not make them a target of scorn and ridicule. But that is not what is happening. Persecution will be and is a part of our lives. If they persecuted Christ, they will persecute Christ-followers also. If they hated Christ, the will hate believers in Christ also. It has been promised.

The times are perilous and for most of us it looks like they are only getting worse.  The days of mutual respect and acceptance of people of faith are fading away. Now, today, a celebrity will receive a police escort to the Super Bowl where she will preform in a way that trashes the Police and honors organizations that support criminal behavior.  The celebrity will be praised and applauded and go on her way making millions from people who never stop to think about the disconnect in their lives. 

And when it comes to change and second chances there is nothing like what God has offered. First, He never changes. What he said thousands of years ago to Adam and Eve is still true and has never changed. So he says to us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. He will never leave you or desert you. The only do-over we need is the one Jesus Christ has provided for us through his death and resurrection.  We do not have to face the wrath of God if we choose to believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Believe, accept and receive a new life that is eternal and all things in the past are forgiven and forgotten, separated as far as the east is from the west. 

Fear not. Trust in the Lord God. Ask Him for the grace and faith to live the do-over life he has made available for you completely free.  Nothing we can do can result in our earning it.  It is a gift – it really is that simple but it simply is not easy, it cost something it cost Jesus his life and people hated him for it. They still do.

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?”