A Final Word of Encouragement

The Apostle Paul, toward the end of his life, toward the end of a ministry driven by the Risen Lord Jesus, shares quite openly in one of his final letters to the churches, the true meaning of life.

 

In a letter to the church at Philippia, in the book of the Bible titled “Philippians,” he writes inspired by God, by the Holy Spirit, in chapter 3, verses 7 through 11:

 

7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

 

The Apostle speaks of gains and losses- something with which we can all relate.  Paul’s only gain near the end of his life is Jesus Christ!  I imagine that he wished he had felt that way much earlier in life, during the dark days when he persecuted Christians.  Interestingly, Paul is not ending with a long speech about regrets.  Instead, God has given him greater wisdom on what his life has really been about:  he was meant to lose anything and everything- whatever necessary- in order to “be found in Jesus Christ,” in order to live entirely under the direction of the Holy Spirit, committed to living with Jesus and for Jesus.

 

Be encouraged! Jesus is with you all. He is asking you every morning with “new mercies” as the Scriptures say, to “cut your losses” and count knowing Jesus and living as He wants you to live as what matters most. Therein lies the challenge.  We want to be comfortable.  We want security.  We delight in prosperity.  We applaud ambition.  However, our only aim needs to be “to be found in Jesus,” and to have the continual desire to “know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death.”

 

If you feel sadness…

If you feel depressed…

If you feel lost…

THEN INSTEAD OF PICKING YOURSELF UP “BY THE BOOTSTRAPS” AND PRESSING ON IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH, PRESS ON IN JESUS’ POWER.  PRAY.  ASK HIM EVERY MOMENT TO TEACH YOU HOW TO LIVE IN HIS RESURRECTION POWER-

 

THAT POWER THAT IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE WAY OF THE WORLD

THAT POWER THAT SHOWS COMPASSION WHETHER OR NOT IT IS DUE

THAT POWER THAT STANDS UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT

THAT POWER THAT BRINGS PEACE

THAT POWER THAT COMES ONLY FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 

I will remember fondly the days of blessing that I experienced through the Caldwell Brethren Church Family…the days of growing more in my walk with Jesus…the days of developing friendships in Christ that I will always treasure.  I urge you, as I imagine the Apostle Paul might and certainly our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is urging all of us now:

 

Press on. Chins up.  Caldwell Brethren Church is part ofthe Body of Jesus Christ.  Our God is from everlasting to everlasting.  You will soar, as the Psalms say, as if on eagle’s wings.  The point to not miss is that the time of soaring is now!  Even at a time of reminiscing of things gained during our ministry together and now looking at potential losses, the Lord Jesus says to be “lost in Him!”  Let Him do the driving.  The Church will continue to grow as long as His people are present, striving to be transformed more and more into Jesus’ image by the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

The true meaning of life? 

“Have Faith in God,” as the beautiful old hymn says, “He’s on His throne!”

Just have faith in Jesus.

Take time to be alone with Him.

Talk with Him throughout your day.

Deny yourself and Follow Him.

He’s got everything covered.

He always has.

 

 

In the Peace and Power of the Risen Christ through the Holy Spirit,

 

I love you all, into eternity.

 

Sister Vanessa Mitchell