One thing we can learn from reading the letters from Paul is his zeal to follow Jesus and to tell as many people about Him before His last breath. He anxiously awaited the time that he would one day be with Jesus, even in the resurrection of the dead. In Philippians 3, verse 9, he said, “and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” (Philippians 3:9-13) Paul suffered so much for his faith, but that was the least of his worries. One day soon he would be with the Lord in heaven. Is this your desire also? Life can be rough, especially when there are trials and persecutions, but like Paul, we continue pressing into our faith, that one day we will also be with Jesus in heaven.
Paul also said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philippians 3:14,15) Every person who endures in the faith and eventually obtains the prize of eternal life will be forever blessed in heaven. Praise be to God for allowing us to obtain such a gift as this. Now, lastly, he taught, “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:18-21) People who do not accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, along with those who do not repent of their sins, will be punished come judgment day. As for true believers in Jesus, they will be resurrected on the last day. In that body, there will be no more pain, sorrow, or death. God is anxious to have His children with Him also. Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, help us to keep the faith and to endure life’s trials and persecutions. Every person is different and is on their own journey with You. Some people have believed for some time and are anxiously awaiting their time to die and to be with You for all eternity. There are also people who have believed for some time and have since left the faith or are now living in willful sin, of which I pray that they will return to You before their last breath. As for the baby Christians, who are just now coming to know You as their Lord and Savior, keep them going strong in the faith. May they find good Christians to fellowship and to be friends with. The lights that we carry, because of You, can be a huge difference in one person’s life. This is especially true when people are desiring to know what is right and what is wrong. We all have a lamp, but if there is oil in it is another question. So I pray that more people will be found seeking Your hand and being led by the Spirit. That they will come to You, crying out in all their confessions. I was once lost, closed off, and never all in for many years. Thankfully, my heart and mind were humbled enough to find You. Yes, God, You are my first love and my greatest delight. I love and honor You with all my heart, mind, and strength. Be near me all my days. Amen.