Do We Have To Not Care Whether We Live Or Die? “To Live is Christ” (by Sidewalk Prophets)

Music Video "To Live is Christ" by Sidewalk Prophets. (www.jeanwilund.com)
 

What does it mean “to live is Christ?” Does it mean we have to not care whether we live or die?

“For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” 
~ Philippians 1:21

In the movie First Knight about the legend of King Arthur, Lancelot wins a sword fight in impressive fashion. (Watch the movie clip at the end of the post.)

His opponent, Mark, wants to know how he learned to fight with such skill:

Mark:         How did you do that? How did he do that? Was that a trick?

Lancelot:   No. No trick. It’s a way of fighting. 

Mark:         Could I do it? Tell me. I can learn.

Lancelot:    You have to study your opponent, how he moves, so you know he’s gonna do it before he does it.

Mark:           I can do that.

Lancelot:     You have to know that one moment in every fight when you win or lose. And you have to know how to wait for it.

Mark:            I can do that.

Lancelot:      And you have to not care whether you live or die.


Oh, wow. That last one’s a tough one:

And you have to not care whether you live or die.

I think I like the apostle Paul’s mindset better.

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

Paul doesn’t tell us not to care if we live or die. He tells us to be excited about both.

No matter whether Paul lived or died, he was good.

Lancelot resigned himself to either fate.

If he lives, great. If he dies, oh well.

Paul embraced both opportunities.

If he lives, great. If he dies, awesome.

Paul lived for something that overpowered his fears and despair and drove him to truly live.

If Paul gets to live, he gets to live for Christ. He gets to love what Christ loves and share the powerful truth of Christ with every breath, whether with words or deeds.

And if he dies, he gets to be with Christ face-to-face. Awesome.

Paul couldn’t lose.

This didn’t mean he couldn’t suffer.

Paul could’ve been the national champion of suffering. Here are just a few of his “struggles”:

  • Whipped five times with 39 lashes.
  • Beaten with rods three times.
  • Stoned and left for dead.
  • Shipwrecked four times.
  • Floated in the deep for a day and a half.
  • Bitten by a viper.
  • Survived an assassination plot.
  • Had a “thorn in his side” that God wouldn’t take away.
  • Arrested and imprisoned several times and for years at a time for preaching Christ.
  • Endured cold and without clothes.
  • Attacked by an angry mob.
  • Betrayed by his own people.

(Acts 9:23-29; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5,19; Acts 15:11; Acts 16:23, 39; Acts 17:5-7, 10, 18, 23-14; Acts 22:24-29; Acts 23:1-8; Acts 23:33-27:2; Acts 27:14-28:1, 3-5, 13-15; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 6:3-20; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Do You Have To Not Care Whether You Live Or Die? Read & find out and then watch music video "To Live is Christ" by Sidewalk Prophets. (www.Jeanwilund.com)He could either glorify Christ by living large or when he met Him face-to-face. Either plan worked for him. 

This wasn’t some “glass is half-full” positive mental attitude.

This was “the glass is overflowing” God-confidence.

It allowed him to endure things few of us will ever have to face and still enjoy peace in his soul, even when there was no peace in his circumstances.

At times Paul felt discouraged. Beat down. He even despaired of his life at times. (2 Corinthians 1:8)

But when life crushed him, he got back up to live another day.

To really live.

Not just exist.

Not just survive.

But live!

For most of us, we live without the fears Paul faced.

Sure, suffering will come. None escape it.

But whether we live or die, with Christ, we’re good. 

We’re free to live with abandon and enjoy life.

Sidewalk Prophets’ song “To Live Is Christ” is based on the apostle Paul’s infamous quote that brilliantly outshines the mythical Lancelot’s.

“For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” 
~ Philippians 1:21

This is what David Frey, one of the founding members of Sidewalk Prophets had to say about their song “To Live is Christ”:

“This verse lays it all on the line for us as a band. What does it mean to truly live?

“Some hold great stock in wealth, or status or other earthly things, but for us…we long to live a life chasing the heart of God.

“Each day is a continual battle to lay our lives down, and lift up Christ on high.

“This song has become our anthem.”

~ David Frey, Sidewalk Prophets

Enjoy Sidewalk Prophet’s music video “To Live is Christ”: 

[Read more…]

Five Truths To Know When The Days Get Darker

5 Truth to Know When the Days Get Darker. #Christ #Light via www.JeanWilund.com

It’s an eerie feeling standing in pitch black hundreds of feet underground. 

God bless coal miners. 

I visited an old mine in England several years ago. At the bottom, our guide told us to turn off our helmet lamps. 

Sometimes the only way we see our true need for light is to experience how dark the darkness is.

A single flicker of light would’ve broken the blackness enveloping us. But it took all of us turning our headlamps off to surround us in pitch black.

When our days get darker — and they will — here are five truths we need to know: [Read more…]

When We Need Faith to Believe and Strength to Say AMEN! (by Steven Curtis Chapman)

Click to view: Give us Faith to Believe & Strength To Say Amen! Music video by Steven Curtis Chapman

Marco.

Polo.

When I call, God, You are there. AMEN!

It’s dark.

I AM the light.

When I can’t see, God, You light my path. AMEN!

It hurts.

I AM the comforter.

When the pain feels too much, God, Your grace envelops me. AMEN!

 

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
~ Psalm 41:13

 

You’ve given us Your life, Your love, and Your word.

Give us faith to believe.

AMEN.

Then Jesus said,
“Did I not tell you
that if you believe,
you will see
the glory of God?”
~ John 11:40

 

AMEN! [Read more…]

Do You Need To Tell Your Heart To Beat Again? ~ Danny Gokey (Monday Music)

Click to view the music video Tell Your Heart to Beat Again and the story that inspired the song by Danny Gokey via www.JeanWilund.com

Shattered.

No way to put the pieces back together again.

The lives of a family close to our hearts shattered recently.

A lady I admire tremendously is in serious condition.

Another friend is fainting under the weight of her children’s struggles.

What’s stopped your heart?

When my parents died, my heart didn’t know what to do.

My mind couldn’t make sense of how to move forward.

How can the world continue when your heart has stopped?

I found my help in Psalms 73:26:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

God doesn’t just give us strength.

He is our strength.

He isn’t just the best part of our lives.

He is our life.

That’s why our hearts can beat again.

That’s why we can smile at the future.

Sometimes we just can’t. But He can. And He will. 

Listen to Danny Gokey explain the inspiration behind Tell Your Heart to Beat Again. It’s a fascinating story about a heart surgeon who did something unusual and saved a life. 

Danny shares this powerful message, and then he sings the song:

[Read more…]

Make This a LIMITLESS New Year — Believe. (Colton Dixon ~ Monday Music)

Click to view music video "Limitless" by Colton Dixon. Make this year LIMITLESS - Dream Big! (Ephesians 3:20) via www.JeanWilund.com

By God’s mighty power at work within us, our new year is LIMITLESS.

BELIEVE.

Believe . . .

This is the year for overcoming more fears and worrying less.

This is the year for stepping out in faith, trying something new, and never giving up.

This is the year for believing God like we never have before.

Whether we’d like to remember this past year forever or wipe it from our memory, God is doing something new in 2016.

Let’s not waste it.

Every breath we take is another gift from God and another opportunity to believe — to believe in His Son for salvation and to believe Him and His promises every day.

Today, believe in God for salvation. Tomorrow, and every day hereafter, believe God and His promises.

As a friend shared in church yesterday, we’re all one heartbeat away from eternity. Start this next year with a limitless new life in Christ.

The other alternative — and there’s only one other — is worse than we can imagine.

Another friend once told me that fear is not a good reason to believe in Christ. I wouldn’t want fear to drive my decision either, but that doesn’t make it any less of a valid reason.

The better reason, though, is to believe because of love — Christ’s inexplicable love for us.

His love fuels His grace, fills us with deep gratitude, and draws us to Him — if we’ll let it.

And it compels us to believe God and His promises. 

Let’s really believe, not just say we do.

Let’s believe Him that . . .

His grace and power are greater than all our sins. 

Sin’s power over us is broken. 

God will accomplish all He’s called us to do.

GOD will. Not WE will. He will through us.

His mighty power is mindblowingly at work in us who believe.

Remember that power? It’s the one that raised Christ from the dead. It didn’t raise Him from a nap, but from being dead.

With that kind of power at work in us, why do we worry? Why do we doubt?

Let Colton Dixon’s music video LIMITLESS inspire you to live this next year with a new mindset — one that will take you places you’ve never been.

Good places. Stay away from the bad places, like that horrible place called unbelief. 

Believe! [Read more…]

Memorizing Bible Verses Just Got Easier — The Best Free Bible Verse Memory Apps

Click to view: Memorizing Bible Verses Just Got Easier! The Best Bible Verse Memory Apps via www.JeanWilund.com Check out these Bible Memory Apps and download one today. It will be one of the best things you remember to do today.

I never saw a purple cow. 

I never hope to see one;

But I can tell you, anyhow, I’d rather see than be one!


My high school English teacher quoted the Purple Cow poem constantly! 

Thirty-four years later, I still can’t banish it from my mind. 

Memorization works.

Over the years I’ve memorized many Bible verses, but my skills aren’t working as well as they used to. I’m glad I now have Bible Memory apps to help me.

Check out these Bible Memory Apps and download one today. It will be one of the best things you remember to do today. [Read more…]

Praise Picture: Not Every Tree Falls In A Storm (Colossians 2:7)


Not Every Tree Falls in a Storm. (Colossians 2:7) Praise Picture -- Let Your Roots Grow Down Into Christ (via www.JeanWilund.com)


Some days threaten to knock us to the ground more than others. Days like 9-11, for instance. Days when our hearts have absorbed all the pain they can take.

But not every tree falls in a storm. [Read more…]

Praise Picture ~ Be Still, and Know That I Am God.

Praise Picture ~ Be Still & Know That I Am God -- Psalm 46:10

Be Still & Know That I Am God — Psalm 46:10

 

Just because life gets crazy, doesn’t mean we have to.

We can enjoy a quietness of spirit even in the midst of chaos because God is still God.

Take a deep breath, cease striving, and know that He is God. 

Amen!

_________†_________


What verses speak to you and quiet your soul in the midst of chaos? Share them in the comment section. Thanks!

If this verse encouraged you, I hope you’ll share it with others. 

Click to Tweet: Be still and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10 Amen!