Today’s Devotional – November 30th (To die is gain!?!)

By admin On November 24th, 2013

.

 “Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

.

.

.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL – NOVEMBER 30th

.

.

.

.

TO DIE IS GAIN!?!

.

.

.

.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpg.

What kind of insanity is that statement? “To die is gain?” That can’t be a verse from the Bible! There has to be a mistake somewhere!

.

Actually, this is part of a confession made by the Apostle, Paul. Listen… “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

.

The fact is, Paul had no qualms about dying. He says several times, that dying in Christ is far better than living in this ungodly world.

.

paul wikimedia US public domain

.

.

.

.

.

THE WORLD CANNOT ACCEPT PAUL’S STATEMENT

.

Now of course, such a statement as that (“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”), would be considered pure madness by the people of the world.

.

Well, after all, the Bible says that they are “having no hope, without God in the world”.

.

So understandably they could never accept such an idea like Paul’s, “To die is gain”.

.

But sadly, this concept has been greatly rejected by the Church as well. Most church-goers would look at you like you were some sort of whacko for saying such a thing! (“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” )

.

Paul persecuted – www.thebiblerevival.com US public domain

.

.

.

.

.

PAUL’S GREAT WITNESS

St Paul Preaching in Athens (Raphael, 1515) Wikipedia US public domain

.

Too bad! Such a life-philosophy which Paul had, would be a tremendous witness to this faithless world. Too bad there are not any Apostle-Paul-types these days! Well maybe there are.

.

But it seems as if Christians are often so desperately trying to hold on to this life. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars having cancer treatments. Why not leave it in God’s hands? If it’s my time to go, why not just trust that God knows best?

.

Well, maybe if it were just a matter of taking a pill, or having a very minor surgery to cure a person, that would be one thing. And those who are in much pain or have broken bones, well, they must do what they must do.

.

St Paul Preaching in Athens (Raphael, 1515) Wikipedia US public domain

.

.

.

.

.

NO PROMISED LAND?

.The River Of The Water Of Life by H. Melville - Wikimedia - Public Domain

But for those of us who are desperately trying to hold on to life in this world: do we really believe that there is a Heaven, in which there is no more pain nor sorrow, but love, peace, and everlasting joy? 

.

Many Christians, by tenaciously holding onto life, give evidence that perhaps they don’t.

.

The River Of The Water Of Life by H. Melville – Wikimedia – Public Domain

.

.

.

.

.

“THE LORD WILL TAKE ME UP!”

.https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Creator:Frederick_Cayley_Robinson&action=edit&redlink=1

Can God take care of our children, after we’re gone? Of course He will! We don’t need to worry. God’s promises are true. Do we actually think that God would take us away, and merely leave our children to themselves?

.

History is filled with accounts of orphaned or abandoned children who grew up to eventually become great and notable men and women.

.

Listen… “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Psalm 27:10. God is a very faithful God, much more than we can imagine!

.

Orphan on Mothers Grave – Wikimedia – Public-Domain

.

.

.

.

.

HEZEKIAH: ANTITHESIS OF PAUL

.

“I am immortal until my work on earth is done.” – John Wesley

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:El_Rey_Ezequ%C3%ADas_haciendo_ostentaci%C3%B3n_de_sus_riquezas_ante_los_legados_del_rey_de_Babilonia._(Museo_de_Bellas_Artes_de_Valencia).jpg

.

Now good old King Hezekiah was just the mirror-opposite of Paul. When he found out he had a terminal illness, Hezekiah wept before God, pleading for Him to heal his terminal illness. And God answered Hezekiah’s prayer. God gave him 15 years of additional time on earth (see Isaiah 38:5).

.

But because of that life-extension, Hezekiah  later had a son, Manasseh, who would eventually become the worst and most evil king that Judah has ever had, completely undoing all the good that his father, Hezekiah, had accomplished. If only Hezekiah had trusted God enough to go, when it was his time. God knew all about the evil he would do. That is why God wished to take out Hezekiah.

.

This story reveals a very important principle about life and death. God knows about the evil to come. Nobody dies by accident. God knows that there are worse things than death, by far!

.

Listen to God’s proclamation… “The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Isaiah 57:1

.

Hezekiah Wikimedia US public domain

.

.

.

.

.

“LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH”

Luke 17:15

.

Now the advice given in today’s devotional is not for everybody. But it ihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Munch_Det_Syke_Barn_1896.jpgs an encouragement only for those who are strong enough in faith, to allow God to decide when it is time to be taken by God.

.

But for those of us, who are just too weak in faith to accept these things, there is hope (and we all are weak, to one degree or another, aren’t we?)

.

Faith is an ever-growing virtue. One can fan the flames of God’s Spirit, if one wishes to do so.

.

Anyone who desires to become great in faith, like Paul, or John, or Peter, can do so, if they wish.

.

Munch Det Syk Barn 1896 wikipedia-US-public-domain

.

.

.

.

.

PAUL RAN UP THE STEPS!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Decapitaci%C3%B3n_de_San_Pablo_-_Simonet_-_1887.jpg

.

There is an historical account of Paul’s day of execution. As the story goes, Paul actually ran up the steps to where his executioner was waiting!

.

Now of course, this is merely outside information. But judging from the way that Paul conducted his life, it only makes sense that Paul would do such a thing, if for no other reason, as his last testimonial to the many on-lookers who, no doubt came to watch his execution.

.

What a witness he must have given on that day! (“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” )

.

Decapitación of Paul-by Simonet-1887 wikipedia US public domain

.

.

.

.

.

EDITOR’S COMMENT:

.

It is easy for those of us who are healthy, to hand out well-meaning advice to those who are sick.

.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_exclamation_mark.svg

But if the situation were reversed, then perhaps, those of us who are so fearless on behalf of others, might not be so quick to follow that very same advice we were so eager to hand out to others.

.

Family situations, and other circumstances make these issues more complicated. And so, we cannot judge, nor know what is best for another individual.

 

.

.

.

.

.

To read Part 2, click here… “April 19 (To Die Is Gain!?! Part 2: “Love Not The World!”)”

.

.

.

.

.

TODAY’S PRAYER…

.

“Dear Lord, help my faith to grow. Help me to become like Paul, in my faith-walk. Let me grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus, so that I may meet life’s challenges with such an unwaivering faith in Thy precious promises…

.

.

.

.

READ MORE…

.

To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Running The Christian Race (Part 1: Paul & John: Our Role Models)”

.

.

.

.

.

THE END

.Soldiers of the Cross - Armor-Up!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

.

.

.

WOMAN ON THE ALTAR CONSTELLATION

.

This “Altar” Constellation is only seen in winter through spring, in mid-sky. It is to the south of the “Fleeing Woman Constellation” (AKA Ursa Major or The Big Dipper).

.

The “Fleeing Woman of Revelation 12” Constellation is in the northeastern sky in this sketch. You would be facing east and looking very high up almost to mid-sky to see this constellation group this way. The altar is farther south but still in the eastern sky. This altar is commonly known as Leo Major“, with the smoke rising beingLeo Minor“.

.

A little farther down this page is the sketch of this same constellation in the latter part of winter, when you look at them facing westward. You will notice that what looked like Gospel seed being cast from her left hand and left foot (see Woman of Revelation 12-The Fleeing Woman article for explanation of casting “Gospel Seed”) now appears like smoke or incense rising from the altar.

.

It is not clear why the altar is sideways in back of the Woman. It would make more sense if it were directly under the Woman. However, the Lord must have some spiritual truth to convey concerning this odd positioning of the Altar. The 7 Stars (Big Dipper) is easy to see with its very bright 7 stars. But the Revelation 12 Woman (Ursa Major) must be seen on a dark starry night, away from city lights.

.

THE ZODIAC CONSTELLATION NAMES

It is not the purpose of www.theheavensdeclare.net to give any validity to the Zodiac or any pagan deities. But the common names of many constellations (such as Scorpio or Sagittarius, etc.), must be given, solely for the purpose of locating them on star-charts.

.

.

.

.

READ MORE…

To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Woman of Revelation 12, (“The Woman on the Altar”)” or you can also read… “The Flower of Heaven Constellation”

.

.

.

.

TOMORROW: 

.

December 1st (Footprints in the Snow!)

 

.

.

.

.

20+ MINUTE AUDIO JEREMIAH STUDY

.

YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL. 

.

THIS IS STUDY #332 PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

.

.

Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.com – Public Domain

.

Leave a Reply