To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain

Prayer:  Dear Heavenly Father thank you so very much for the opportunity to stand before the church and to grow spiritually with the church as I deliver this message.  But I certainly can’t do this without you.  I can’t do anything without you.  I Thank you for your grace, mercy, and patience with me.  There are many people hurting in our community and all over the world.  I lift them up to you, heal and comfort as you see fit.  Please bless Youth night this evening and I pray the community will see the love if Jesus Christ in us and that if there is someone that doesn’t have an intimate relationship with you that they would form a relationship with you through the planting of the seed.  If it not by us, by someone else.  In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Turn to Philippians 1:21 

This is the Word of God King James Version: Phillipians1:21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Amplified Philippians: 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity]. 22 If, however, it is to be life here and I am to go on living, this will mean useful and productive service for me; so I do not know which to choose [if I am given that choice]. 23 But I am hard-pressed between the two. I have the desire to leave [this world] and be with Christ, for that is far, far better; 24 yet to remain in my body is more necessary and essential for your sake. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your rejoicing for me may overflow in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.”

I love this scripture:  Let’s look at the first part.  For me to live is Christ.  We live for Christ.  Christ lives in us and we have eternal life because of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, everything we do should be centered around Christ.  We should live the same way on Monday and Saturday as we do on Sunday at church.  

If you have seen any of my Facebook posts, you know I don’t hide my light underneath a bushel. 

The other day, a rogue deer that was bent on crossing Highway 8 E plowed into Manuela’s van and did a pretty good number on it, but thank God, no one was hurt.  The Lord was with us and protected us. 

While I was waiting on someone to tow the van, I had K-love on, and I was praising the Lord that no one was hurt in the accident. 

I sent an email out to everyone, just to bring awareness about crazy deer out there. 

I will read it to you. “Good Morning Team

Ya’ll be safe out there!  A deer decided to commit suicide and run into our van; photos attached.  Praise the Lord, no-one was hurt.  There was absolutely nothing we could do to avoid the rogue deer that was running full throttle.

Anyway, ya’ll be safe and watch out for deer.” 

Jerry  

I am a K-love supporter and I get prayers sent to me every day.  And I share them on Facebook and at work I stumbled upon, no God uncovered this USDA Faith at work group on Microsoft Teams and I share these prayers with them every day.  I’m blessed to be able to share these prayers with others, again live through Christ in everything we do.

Let’s look at the second part of the verse.  And to die is gain.   You see when Paul was writing this, he was torn between staying on earth and being persecuted and going home to be with Jesus for eternity and we may feel the same way.  In one sense we may want to stay here on earth because there is more work to do.  There’s more kid’s camps to have, there’s more Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames to have.  There’s more Youth Nights to have.  There’s more people to talk to about Jesus.  There’s more seeds to plant and more people for God to save.  And more sermons for Brother Zack to deliver.  But isn’t it going to be awesome to go home to Heaven!  Amen!  Come on Eddie where are ya?

“If you can really grasp what Paul is saying here, then you will truly understand the meaning and context of Philippines 1:21 For Paul to keep living would be beneficial for the church in Philippi and everyone else he was ministering to. He could keep serving them and be a blessing to the body of Christ. (That’s to live is Christ). 

However, understanding the sufferings of this life (remember Paul was in prison when writing this letter), and all of the challenges he faced, he understood that as great as it is to serve Christ in this life, it was better to die and go be with Christ forever. This does not mean you should want to die, it just means that you understand that death for a Christian is not the ending, but just the beginning. In death, you lay down your struggle. You complete your race and you enter into the presence of God for all eternity. That’s the experience for every believer and truly that is better.” (Clarence L. Haynes Jr. August 2022)

God Works In Mysterious Ways

Have you ever stopped to get gas, stopped to get a coffee, or had to run back inside your house because you forgot something and barely missed being in an accident? If you hadn’t stopped to get gas, to get coffee, or hadn’t needed to run back into the house because you forgot something you would have been in that wreck that you are now delayed in traffic because. Did you ever think that is God keeping you from being in that accident?

Did you ever have a gut feeling telling you to change your flight and then the flight was delayed or worse crashed? That was God saving your life, perhaps, God needs you to do more work, and God has more plans for you.

I believe while we are here on earth, we are to spread the good news and tell people about Jesus and plant the seed and let God come in behind us and convict their heart. It’s sad when I look out in the world today and see the nonsense taking place. I see hatred. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we are renewed, a change takes place in our hearts, and hate is replaced with love, kind of like the Grinch. Wow, I can’t believe I just referenced the Grinch, but it makes sense. The Grinch’s heart grew and the Grinch is a Christmas movie (Christ), how fitting.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mivie+clip+where+Grinch%27s+heart+grows&docid=608003314197269028&mid=5058446CE0AA5E7AB19E5058446CE0AA5E7AB19E&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Man Collapses From Heart Attack In Baggage Claim, Then Realizes Flight Delay Saved His Life

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-traffic-delay-that-saved-a-life-sparked-a-friendship/ar-BB15BJug

Above are just a few examples of the way God works in our lives. I’m sure there are many more that can be found.

Finally, I heard a story on K-love his morning about a family that found a new Church because of COVID-19. They found a Church that is closer to their house that is having outdoor services. They bring tents and set up outside. The caller stated the new Church has a new Pastor and seems happy to have found this Church, another example of God working mysteriously and providing for our needs.
http://www.klove.com/

Be careful, be safe and listen to that voice inside of you, it’s the Holy Spirit keeping you safe – God Bless!

Planting Seeds

My family and I just returned from visiting Germany, we were celebrating my wife’s 40th birthday in her homeland with her twin sister and the rest of her family, and we got a chance to spread the good news about Jesus to some family members.

My wife’s daughter downloaded the Bible app on her phone and is reading the Bible daily.  I spoke to my daughter and her boyfriend was very receptive to what I had to say about Jesus and being a believer, mainly what it means to be saved by God’s grace.  He even stated that he has read my blog.  After visiting with us, my daughter watched “Breakthrough” and inquired how to get K-Love on her phone. I would call that a breakthrough!    

My wife also had some very promising talks with her Mom that may have opened the door to her curiosity.

We spent time with two old friends that are mutual friends as well, that we shone our light on and also piqued their interests in the way we are living, no longer drinking alcohol, and one stated, “he needs more Jesus in his life”, I even played K-Love on his Google speaker. 

http://www.klove.com/

This trip to Germany to celebrate the life of my wife and her twin sister, turned out to be an opportunity to shine our lights and plant seeds, all we can do now is pray and continue to shine the light and trust that God will convict their hearts.