Last Sunday Jackson preached an important message for us from Philippians 1:12-18. If you weren’t able to be here, I highly encourage you to go listen or watch it HERE. He asked us to consider our “chains” – people and circumstances we feel chained to that we wish we weren’t – and to consider how these might really serve to advance the gospel.
Imagine if each of us at Grace chose to see our chains as opportunities for God to turn “lead” to “gold” and prayerfully embraced them! I can imagine hearing stories at our reflection service, “I want you to know, Grace, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel…”
This week we’ll see another reason Paul was rejoicing, and we’ll reflect on one of Paul’s most memorable sentences, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” This conviction was the backbone of Paul’s hope and joy in suffering.
I think the two most important words in that sentence might be “to me.” Those two words tell us that Paul had become convinced of these two truths. Are we? As long as those are just theological answers to theological questions or good Sunday school answers, our lives will remain unchanged. But when those two truths become deep convictions, we will not be the same.
Kenny Clark will be preaching from Philippians 1:18b-26 this Sunday and Caleb Parker will be leading us in sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And would you read the passage for Sunday and pray for our church, that God would cause each of us to be more deeply convinced that to live is Christ and to die is gain?
Thank you, Grace. See you Sunday!
P.S. – We will be introducing a new song this Sunday written by Wendell Kimbrough called Eternal Weight of Glory. It helps us cling to our living hope and to embrace our chains with faith. It’s a great song to meditate on this week as you prepare for this Sunday’s worship gathering.
Eternal Weight of Glory
1. Now the days and hours and moments
Of our suffering seem so long;
And the toilsome wait and wondering
Threaten silence to our song.
Now our pain is real and pressing
Where our faith is thin and weak,
But our hope is set on Jesus;
And we cling to him, our strength.
2. Oh, eternal weight of glory!
Oh, inheritance divine!
We will see our Lord redeeming
Every past and future time.
All our pains will be transfigured,
Like the scars of Christ our Lord.
We will see the weight of glory,
And our broken years restored.
For behold! I tell a myst’ry:
At the trumpet sound we’ll wake
“Death is swallowed up in vict’ry!”
When we meet our King of Grace
Every year we thought was wasted
Every night we cried “How long?”
All will be a passing moment
In our Savior’s vict’ry song
3. We will see our wounded Savior.
We’ll behold him face to face;
And we’ll hear our anguished stories
Sung as vict’ry songs of grace.
Words and Music: © 2015 Wendell Kimbrough