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.”
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)