For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
I believe that there is something after I die. While I live on this earth, I live because of Christ. When I die, I gain the Kingdom. I gain heaven. I gain a new relationship with God that I don’t have here on earth.
But until that happens? I truly believe what Jesus said when He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I believe we’re supposed to bring the Kingdom to earth. I live under that understanding. While I’m here, I’m an ambassador who is supposed to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. And I believe that I can help do that. I believe that the Spirit of God helps lead you into areas where you can help. The Spirit will lead you, that is, if you’re living a lifestyle of Jesus.
That’s what the disciples did. They lived the lifestyle of Jesus. Jesus foretold it. He told the disciples, “Greater things will you do after I leave, because you will be empowered by the Spirit.” And after Jesus was gone, they did.
The proof is in the persecution they suffered. I mean, no one dies for a decision. There’s no way you can tell me the disciples were hung upside down on crosses, were martyred, jailed, stoned, and beaten, simply because they were trying to get people to say they accepted Christ. For the disciples, conversion wasn’t just a matter of saying that Jesus is Lord. If that’s all we had to do, there’s no way anyone would die for it.
No, you accept that Jesus is Lord and then you live a life of Jesus. That’s what the disciples did. They not only accepted Christ as Lord, they lived like Jesus lived. They lived in a relationship. They lived with a discipleship mentality. They walked the walk, and they died for that. They died for the way of life. True life. They died with an understanding that when they accepted Christ as Lord, when they believed that He was the Savior, life did not stop there.
What was that life? It was the “love your neighbor as yourself” mentality. These guys wanted to make sure that they brought the Kingdom to earth. They wanted to live like Jesus lived. They wanted to love people like Jesus loved people. That’s what they died for. They died for the lifestyle that they knew was the right. And to me, if I’m going to die for something, I’m dying for something that I know is right.
I think the disciples knew true life. Paul said, “Take joy in trials and tribulations.” How are you going to take joy in trials and tribulations? Who does that? But they didn’t find their joy in the physical aspects of life. Life for the disciples wasn’t hunky dory on the outside. It wasn’t that they were joyful because they never had anything bad happen to them. They always had something bad happening to them! Their life was never turmoil-free. There was a lot of stuff that went down.
So why did they challenge people to live a life of Jesus when they knew they would die for it? Because it was fulfilling. They had true joy. They had happiness. They said, “Things may go wrong around me, but I know where my joy is and it’s in my Savior. I know what it’s like to love people.”
And I believe that’s the way to live. The way to live true life. See you Friday.