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Monday, December 10, 2018

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them--Hebrews 11:16


We are living in a remarkable period of time. Read these words from A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." Now, read them again and substitute the words, "this is" for "it was" and you will have a most accurate description of the time in which we live.


 We live in a time in which sin, evil, wickedness and error abound. Our days are surrounded with so much unrest politically and spiritually making then troublesome and perilous. But still, isn't it great to be alive in this remarkable age? As children of God we should rejoice and thank God for each day (Phil. 3:1; Phil.4:4; 1 Thess.5:16). We should be rejoicing that we have a Saviour who has prepared for us a beautiful city (John 14:1-3); rejoice that we have been rescued from kingdom of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God's dear Son in whom we have redemption even the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13-14); rejoice that we can go before the throne of grace and there receive mercy and find help in time of need and by so doing have a peace that passes understanding sweep down over our souls (Heb. 4:16; Phil. 4:6-7).


I want to live as long as possible without becoming a burden on my loved ones. Yet, like those heroes of faith, I long for that beautiful city promised to all who have been pardoned by the Lord. If I seek the things above, if I set my mind on things above, not on things that are on earth, if I lay up for myself treasure in heaven, if I seek first the kingdom of God, I know my Saviour will pilot me safely through this sea of life. What is true for me is also true for you (Phil. 3:13-14; Col. 3:1-4; Matt. 6:19-21; Matt. 6:33). I just want to come to the end of this journey, to the end of the race, to the close of the day and be able to say, "the time of my departure is at hand, I am ready" (2 Tim. 4:6-8). How about you?


I pray that all of us are living our lives in a manner that we can say, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" Phil. 1:21). To God be the glory forever and ever.


Charles Hicks

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