Friday, September 22, 2017

Living for Christ

“To me, living is Christ and dying is gain.”  Philippians 1:21. 

In this passage (Phil. 1:21-30)  Paul wrestles with the idea of dying to be one with Christ or living to spread the gospel message.  Even though his desire is to die and be with Christ, he understands that his purpose is to help others come to a fuller understanding of a life lived in grace.  

By remaining in this life as an encouraging agent, Paul is doing God’s work.  Through sharing his struggles, he gives us an example of what it looks like to follow Christ.  It is not always easy, but we are assured that the prize is worth the effort.  Christ himself is the prize, and Christ himself is our support.  We are never alone in our struggle.  Christ will always come alongside of us to share our burden.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Living forgiveness

Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.  Romans 14:3. Paul is responding to a problem in the Roman church.  Some people believe that they are better than others because of their practices in the faith.  He makes it clear in this passage that we are not to pass judgment.  Different people are at different places in their walk with Christ, and that’s okay.  

Some of us may honor the Lord in different ways and that’s okay.  Paul reminds us that we don’t live to ourselves but to the Lord.  When we died we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  And our Gospel lesson tells us that we will be judged according to the judgment we have passed on others.  One of the hardest things a Christian does might be to learn how to be non-judgmental.  We must remember that forgiveness is from God and is always to be passed on to those we meet.