Proof Of Life

"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21....."No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." I Corinthians 2:9....."If you're a dream of God before you take your first breath, shouldn't you live out His dream before you take your last breath?......The best proof of life after death is life before death." Erwin McManus

Paul's words in Philippians have always resonated with me, and they never cease to go deeper. At first I just heard them in the context of all the beauty that awaited me when the time came to leave this world. Paul certainly had that expectation in the speaking of them, but I have come to see, and continue to see more deeply, that it is far more than that. The life Paul speaks of is not limited to some future hope, but a very present one, and the key to entering in is death.....in the here and now. For us to live in all that Christ is, in the fullness of His resurrection life, we must die to all that is not Christ in our lives right now. Our flesh counts that as loss. Paul, with the mind and heart of Christ, knew it was truly gain. 

 

Paul, when he was known as Saul, knew a great deal of what life in the world could offer. He was likely wealthy, enjoyed great prestige and power, and was filled with religious fervor. When he was confronted by the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, all that became as dry bones to him, and knowing the fullness of life in Jesus Christ became his all consuming passion. That's why the words he quoted in I Corinthians have far deeper meaning that just some future hope of heaven. It's true that on this side of eternity, we can never see the extent of the riches that lie ahead for us....but we can begin to see, and we can begin to see much....and hear much...and know much. 

 

So that brings me to the above quotes from McManus. I have always believed that when He created us, me, that there was a dream in His heart for the life He'd created. With our first breath, that dream is in place. The question for each of us is, how close are we living to the fulfillment of His dream? Will it be realized before we take our last? Can we dare to believe that no matter what befalls us in this fallen world, none of it can stop the fulfillment of that dream? It's a dream that has far more to do than what we can gather around us, but of what type of life flows into and out of us. When we walk and live in His resurrection life now, we are entering into His dream for us. A life that this fallen world and all it uses against that life, cannot touch. That's His dream for you and me. Have we stepped into it?

Last, there is his quote about the best proof of life after death is the life we live before death. We who are His, can prove the reality of His Kingdom promise by the extent that we live in that Kingdom right now. When we live a quality of life that really does overcome the world, that really does know abundance no matter how much is in the bank, or what job we have or don't have, what ministry success we know or don't know. In all of it, regardless of the recognition we have or lack in this life, we live in a fullness of life that this world can never know.....and sadly, too many who are His do not know either. Are you and I living a life so steeped in Him as to give proof that there really is a Kingdom whose fullness we will one day enter into....and whose fullness we can begin to enter into now?

 

Is His dream for you being realized today? Do you bear the seal of His proof of life? There is a pathway to both. It leads to the cross. It is the way of His death that will lead to the way of His Life. Dare we walk it...and enter into His dream.....and His Life?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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