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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Birthday Thoughts

This present physical life is a proving ground. It is like going to school. We don’t graduate until death, or until the coming of the Lord! Do people celebrate when they begin to go to school or college? Or don’t they celebrate when they GRADUATE AND GET THEIR DIPLOMA? Merely beginning life is nothing to boast about! It is where we end up that really counts!

The true hope of the Christian is the resurrection of the dead, when we shall all “be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be CHANGED. For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Cor. 15:51-52).

That is the day we will celebrate -- not our physical birthdays, when we were literally born into a lifetime of struggle, trials, suffering, death, misery, and privation, persecution, strife, and pain. Not at all! We look forward to and celebrate the second coming of Christ, and the resurrection of the dead saints which will occur at His coming!

As Paul wrote to the Philipians, “Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but LOSS for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG, that I may win Christ...That I may know him, and the POWER of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Phil. 3:8, 10-11).

This was Paul's one ambition, one driving desire, in life. He declared, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND (such as birthdays!), and REACHING FORTH unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).

This present life is as nothing. It is full of pain and suffering. If we follow Christ, then we will suffer as He suffered, leaving us an example (I Peter 4:13; 2:21). But the end result -- the eternal reward ahead of us -- makes it all worthwhile!

During this life we experience the “fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil. 3:11). We are one with Him in suffering, that we might become one with Him in glory and eternal life!

Paul wrote, “Who shall CHANGE OUR VILE BODY, that it might be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:21).

How much greater this is, than celebrating our birthdays of this fragile, temporary, transitory, weak, clay, human existence!
Jan 6 is my birthday. On this day I will not be celebrating my physical birth. I will be thanking God for his free gift of salvation he offered to me which I have accepted.

Instead of celebrating your birth consider Christ's birth and its eternal consequences for you on your birthday.

Consider your temporary human existance on your birthday.

Beginning life is nothing to boast about! It is where we end up that really counts!

God Gave Himself

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son, that whsoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The greatest of all gifts.

The greatest gift was when God gave himself for a lost and undeserving world.

It was the greatest gift because it met the greatest need, revealed the greatest love, and had the greatest scope and purpose of any gift that could ever be conceived in the heart of an omniscient Creator.

This great gift is abundantly sufficient to provide salvation and everlasting life for the whole world.

But a gift only becomes a gift when it is accepted.

The greatest of all tragedies is that this greatest of all gifts has been spurned and even ridiculed, or worst of all simply ignored by multitudes who need it so much.

When they brazenly refuse God's free gift of everlasting life, they can only perish in everlasting death. The Eternity of Hell’s Torments (The 2nd Death)

God did all He could do when He gave His Son; for when He gave His Son, He gave HIMSELF.

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